The Challenge of Living Up to Core Values

As mentioned in previous posts, SGR staff took the time this week to review our core values. SGR’s core values are unique and the team truly strives to use the core values to guide every interaction and decision for the company. The values are:

  • Customer Service
  • Integrity
  • Philanthropy
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Flexibility
  • The Golden Rule
  • Collaboration
  • Protecting Relationships

Core values can be seen as something that is nice to have; however, when difficulties arise, your core values can guide your organization.

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This week, a University of Oklahoma fraternity created a video where students were heard chanting racial slurs that refer to the African American community and vowing to never admit them to Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The video demonstrates repulsive behavior and thought.


When researching this topic, I found the following core values for the University of Oklahoma:

  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Respect
  • Accountability
  • Service
  • Teamwork
  • Enjoyment
  • Optimism
  • Learning

Fairly quickly after the controversy broke, University of Oklahoma’s President David Boren issued the following statement:

To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you. You are disgraceful. You have violated all that we stand for. You should not have the privilege of calling yourselves “Sooners.” Real Sooners are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.

Effective immediately, all ties and affiliations between this University and the local SAE chapter are hereby severed. I direct that the house be closed and that members will remove their personal belongings from the house by midnight tomorrow. Those needing to make special arrangements for possessions shall contact the Dean of Students.

All of us will redouble our efforts to create the strongest sense of family and community. We vow that we will be an example to the entire country of how to deal with this issue. There must be zero tolerance for racism everywhere in our nation.

Impressively direct, President Boren outlined his disgrace for the situation, a remedy, and a long-term solution for correcting the problem in the community. The detailed description for OU’s Integrity core value is: We do the right things for the right reasons. President Boren did that this week.

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The University of Oklahoma quickly responded to the crisis that the viral video created.  Hopefully, they will also follow-through with the long-term goal of instilling these values throughout their community so that the behaviors exhibited in the video do not occur in the first place.

When you find yourself leading in a time that your core values are challenged – let the values be your guide. (Tweet This) Do the right things for the right reasons.



Written by:
Katie Corder
Executive Search Manager

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