How Core Values Can Drive and Shape Your Organization

Brian Litvack of LeagueApps chats with us about the promise of being a mission-driven organization.

Bri­an Lit­vack is the CEO and Co-Founder at LeagueApps, a soft­ware plat­form that con­nects peo­ple around one of Brian’s pas­sions: sports. The goal of the com­pa­ny is to make sports more acces­si­ble to young peo­ple in com­mu­ni­ties across the nation. The soft­ware makes it eas­i­er to run sports pro­grams and con­nect with play­ers and their families.

A big part of why LeagueApps is such a suc­cess is that Bri­an has instilled val­ues and an impor­tant mis­sion from the get-go. Using tech­nol­o­gy, soft­ware, and data to cre­ate more pos­i­tive sports expe­ri­ences is just one part of that mission.

You can learn a lot about the way Bri­an cre­at­ed a brag-wor­thy cul­ture at LeagueApps, no mat­ter what kind of orga­ni­za­tion you have.

What Having a Mission-Driven Company Means

When you have a mis­sion-dri­ven com­pa­ny, your com­pa­ny val­ues are every­thing. While finan­cial suc­cess is also very impor­tant, it means noth­ing if the mis­sion isn’t behind every­thing that you do. From hir­ing to day-to-day projects to major deci­sions, it all needs to go back to those core principles.

For exam­ple, LeagueApp focus­es on the following:

  • Sports­man­ship
  • Pas­sion
  • Open­ness
  • Results
  • Team
  • Being a stu­dent in the game
  • Mak­ing a difference
  • Own­ing your role
  • Grit

Bri­an and his co-founders have made these val­ues the cor­ner­stone of every­thing that they do. They nev­er lose sight of them and every team mem­ber is aware of them. They are con­stant­ly work­ing to uphold these fun­da­men­tal ideas — for the busi­ness as a whole as well as for their customers.

Instill your com­pa­ny val­ues from the very start. In terms of hir­ing, aim to work with peo­ple who show that they real­ly care. You need to make sure that what you’re putting out into the world — whether it’s a prod­uct or a ser­vice — real­ly mat­ters to the peo­ple on your team.

Talk about your val­ues and ele­vate them in your inter­ac­tions every day. When mak­ing deci­sions, focus on liv­ing up to and strength­en­ing those val­ues. Be clear with team mem­bers and ensure that they are aware that the mis­sion is the most impor­tant thing. Keep going back to that orig­i­nal mis­sion and base every­thing that you do on it. Not only will it attract the right kind of employ­ees, but also the right kinds of customers.

Recog­ni­tion is a huge part of it. Con­sid­er high­light­ing employ­ees who best exem­pli­fy those val­ues at all-hands meet­ings. You may even give out annu­al awards to moti­vate your team to do their best work — which, again, is all about ampli­fy­ing your mission.

Encouraging Growth Within the Company — and Beyond

Bring­ing on the right peo­ple and giv­ing them career devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties is essen­tial. This is espe­cial­ly true in the tech world, where employ­ees typ­i­cal­ly don’t stay with the same com­pa­ny for the dura­tion of their careers. It’s impor­tant to cre­ate an atmos­phere where folks aren’t afraid to grow — even if that means even­tu­al­ly leav­ing the company.

As an exec­u­tive, founder, or man­ag­er, you need to rec­og­nize and under­stand that the peo­ple with­in your orga­ni­za­tion are real­ly what makes it. Your biggest invest­ment is the peo­ple on your team.

When a team mem­ber is doing well, rec­og­nize that. Don’t under­es­ti­mate the impor­tance of month­ly meet­ings with your peo­ple. Con­tin­ue to check in to make sure that they are hap­py and sat­is­fied, and if they aren’t, talk about what you can do to sup­port them.

It also goes both ways. If you, as a busi­ness leader, notice that an employ­ee has lost sight of the mis­sion, talk to them about it. Every action you take either strength­ens or weak­ens your val­ues. If you’re aware of that, then you will con­stant­ly work to strength­en those values.

One way to deter­mine whether or not every­one in the orga­ni­za­tion is on the same page is to have all-hands meet­ings out­side the office. At LeagueApps, these are called orga­nized team activ­i­ties, or OTAs. Twice a year every year, the entire com­pa­ny gath­ers to spend time togeth­er and bond. It’s a great place to hone in on the company’s mis­sion, as well as build stronger connections.

What start­ed as a way to work­shop busi­ness prob­lems evolved into a way to ele­vate their mis­sion and con­nect. Bri­an says, if you have the abil­i­ty to do some­thing like this twice a year instead of just annu­al­ly, you will be able to real­ly ham­mer home what your com­pa­ny is all about.

How To Continue To Be Mission-Driven

The more you can iden­ti­fy them and talk about your val­ues, the more like-mind­ed peo­ple you’ll attract. When you have strong val­ues from the begin­ning, they’ll only con­tin­ue to get stronger and stronger.

As an entre­pre­neur or a founder, you have a spe­cial oppor­tu­ni­ty to write the rules of your orga­ni­za­tion. This goes beyond the stan­dard employ­ee hand­book-style rules. Con­sid­er the ways you want to treat each oth­er as a team and how you want to present your com­pa­ny to the rest of the world.

Make sure you know who you are and what you stand for. A big part of being a mis­sion-dri­ven com­pa­ny is that you always have to put your mis­sion and val­ues first. You need to ensure that your team mem­bers believe in and care about that mission.

Remem­ber: not all com­pa­nies are val­ue and mis­sion-dri­ven, and that’s okay. That said, if you do hope to build a busi­ness with a clear pur­pose, you’ve got to focus on those val­ues from the very start.

When you cen­ter your com­pa­ny cul­ture around uphold­ing your mis­sion, you can make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of your employ­ees and your cus­tomers. And when you have a mis­sion-dri­ven busi­ness, that’s what it’s all about.

Check Out the Full Episode

Are you inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about Bri­an and becom­ing a mis­sion-dri­ven orga­ni­za­tion? Lis­ten to the full inter­view by tun­ing into the pod­cast on Apple or Spo­ti­fy.

Look­ing to build your own Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture? Fringe can help. Fringe is the num­ber one lifestyle ben­e­fits mar­ket­place. Give your peo­ple the pow­er of choice and save a ton of admin­is­tra­tive headaches by con­sol­i­dat­ing exist­ing ven­dors and pro­grams into a sim­ple, auto­mat­ed plat­form. Talk to our team to get started.