Building a value FIRST organization

Have you ever thought about making a small lie for your own convenience?

Have you ever thought about making a bigger lie to maximize the return for yourself?

In the business world, people often ask the following questions:

  • What’s in it for me?
  • How am I going to maximize my own benefits?

Some people even ask:

  • How do I rip people off, so that I can get everything from them, and they will get nothing from me?
  • How do I trick others on my way up to the top?

Is it true that you can’t succeed without ripping people off?


Peter Drucker, the man who is known as the father of modern management, once said that the Salvation Army is the world’s most effective organization because its members put their values before anything else.

Columbia Business School once conducted a survey out of the world’s top 1,500 executives about the most important characteristic an executive should have, and honesty has been identified as the #1 characteristic (some others are decisiveness, hard-working and confidence).

So, what is it that differentiates a great organization from a mediocre one? In my humble opinion, it is how an organization prioritizes its core values — are they prioritized before shareholder return or after?

Value builds efficiency and effectiveness

Some people may say, “if you put values before shareholder return, then you might as well turn yourself into a NPO (non-profit organization).”

The first question I’ll ask is, “why so?”

First of all, if everyone in your organization is stealing stuff, you will not be able to optimize operational efficiency.

Secondly, if everyone in your organization is bribing others to maximize shareholder return, then sooner or later, the organization will collapse.

Now, how do you achieve profitability if you are running a slow and broken organization?

On the other hand, if an organization focuses on helping its team members put integrity before anything else, it is not only nurturing its team members to deliver consistently on Wednesday vs. Friday, but also eliminating politics and expensive legal issues.

In summary, low shareholder return is only a symptom to a sick organization, not the root cause — why would you treat it more importantly than the root cause?

Value builds companies that last

Many people got rich by ripping other people off.  Some people build enormous enterprises by stabbing other people’s back.  However, just keep in mind that today, you may be able to stab on one person’s back to gain enormous return, but sooner or later, you will not be able to find anyone else to stab on because of your record.

As Warren Buffet puts it, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Mr. Buffet is known for his integrity and fairness in business.  Is he naive or inexperienced?  Is he not successful?

If you look at the organization history of the Salvation Army (, you will notice that every major milestone that it has achieved so far aligns with its core values (

Therefore, it is not only completely possible to succeed in business ethically, it is indeed easier to do so than making unnecessary lies or any other unethical conduct because you will have a clear vision to where you can lead your organization, and people will love doing business with you because of your reputation.

How far do you want to take your organization?  If you are trying to put its name down on the history book, then start thinking about “what’s in it for others” before you think about “what’s in it for me!”

Today, I urge you to start building a value FIRST organization.


About Daniel Chu
“Success is to drive and continually shape the excellence in you and around you” – Daniel Chu Born in January 1st 1983 in Taipei Taiwan, Daniel Che Yi Chu moved to Ontario Canada by himself at the age of 14, seeking for better education. In 2007, Daniel obtained his Honor Bachelor of Science (with distinction) in Computer Science (Software Engineering) from the University of Toronto, St. George campus. Currently an IT Project Manager at TELUS, Daniel is leading teams with up to 15 members and managing budgets between $100K-$800K, facilitating a $900M deal with the Quebec government ( Since graduation, Daniel joined TELUS’s Leadership Development Program (, which gave him an opportunity to explore different professional roles, such as a Business Analyst, Developer, IT Project Manager, Human Resources Project Manager, and Strategic Advisor. Continued to grow, Daniel joined Toastmasters in 2008, and obtained both the Competent Leader and Competent Communicator designation in 2009. Also in 2009, Daniel was nominated and elected President of his Toastmasters Club ( Daniel is a committed Christian who is also a committed volunteer at Big Brothers and the Crisis Center. He helps the Crisis Center deliver suicide prevention workshops at Vancouver’s high schools. Daniel enjoys various activities, such as swimming, playing basketball, and bowling. He also enjoys reading and writing.

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