Everyone talks about having honesty, integrity, and good customer service as core values. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find more meaningful values to adopt in your business.

Steve Kerr is the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors won the NBA’s World Championship in the 2014–15 season and got off to an incredibly hot start to the 2015–16 season by winning more games in a row than any other team in the modern sports era. Kerr also played for the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs during the 1990s and early 2000s, winning three championships with the Bulls and two with the Spurs.

Needless to say, Kerr knows a thing or two about winning. He also knows a thing or two about what makes a great player, a great teammate, and a great organization — because he established thoughtful and specific core values.

Core values are a way for companies to articulate their business culture. However, there are some common core values that are misused, meaningless, or cliché. For instance, everyone expects to deal with an individual or an organization that behaves honestly and with integrity. Everyone also expects good customer service. Declaring these as core values is akin to declaring that you breathe and put on pants every day. These things are simply expected.

In fact, stating that these overly used buzzwords are your core values can backfire on you. If you must state that your company values honesty, it might lead people to believe that you may not have been honest in the past.

Instead, take some notes from Kerr’s game plan. Create core values that mean something to you as a broker and truly have an impact on your team members, agents, staff, and customers.

Following in Kerr’s footsteps, here are four core values that are better for your business:


Everyone wants to be around a happy person and part of a happy organization. Joyful people make better workers. Workers who are satisfied with their jobs produce significantly better results for their company. Nobody wants to do business with people who are negative or work at a company that where the office culture breeds toxicity.

Establish joy in your office by doing little things for people that make them smile. Hold agent appreciation events, celebrate successes often, uplift others to do well, and be giving and kind. Having a high quality of life, both personally and professionally, should be everyone’s ultimate goal.


“People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” Take note of this famous mantra from Theodore Roosevelt. When dealing with the issues or concerns of your agents, clients, or staff, you’ll have the most meaningful impact if you explicitly and implicitly show them that you care about their situation. Whether or not you understand their pain or their frustration first-hand, the fact that you are there to guide them through the ordeal is reason enough for them to stay loyal to you and your company.


It’s not enough just to be smart; you need to be the right kind of smart. It’s best to see the world from multiple points of view and have an awareness of other people’s situations. For example, having the ability to code is an important skill in order to be a computer programmer, but it’s not enough to run a computer programming company. While a master of one particular trade is certainly a useful asset, but a jack of all trades offers more value in leadership. Having a well-rounded perspective in real estate is essential to becoming a successful broker that people trust.


In professional sports, winning is everything. So it’s no surprise to find competitiveness among Kerr’s top core values. Your “sport” is real estate, and your business needs to win in order to survive. Having the mindset of a winner is what makes a successful businessperson. But notice that winning itself is not one of Kerr’s core values. The simple act of winning takes for granted everything that goes into a competition. Competitiveness provides a platform for you to give your best effort against a respected opponent in an arena where your skills can be put to the test.

Your core values are the ideals that drive you and your business on both a tangible and intangible level. They are often things that cannot be measured yet can be identified quickly by those around you. Selecting your core values is an important step to showcase the type of business you strive for, so make sure you pick the right ones.

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