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Willow Oak’s Values

Company values are a key enabler to behaviour in a company. We think of our company values as the car that is taking us to our destination  – but also regularly remind ourselves that we are in full control of ensuring we are moving forward with our car, not leaving it (or our ‘values’) behind as we grow our business. 

Photo: Ian Schneider

We sat down and spent a few hours getting to our company values. We spent time trying to understand how exactly we wanted to live out every day at Willow Oak, and what we should come back to when we’re feeling lost or unsure. 

At their best, our values allow us to lean into one another for our strengths, build up our clients and our community, engage in meaningful dialogue that leads to the best results, and allows us to continue to build a ‘journey’ of entrepreneurship, recognizing that we never want to feel ‘done’.

Our Company Values 

So where did we land after hours of dialogue? Our three values are simple, to the point, and are truly the essence of what we are trying to achieve at Willow Oak. 

Community:

This one is arguably our favourite. It’s really the spirit of Willow Oak as a whole in that we believe deeply in community over competition. We all bring our own strengths that we want to play to, and we recognize that others have strengths that we simply don’t!

Especially in business and entrepreneurship, it can be easy to look at others in your landscape and feel intimidated by their skill, network, and success. But we believe in a mindset that enables us to be successful in our own journey, while also being able to admire the journey of others. ⁠

It makes this whole path of being an entrepreneur, and even being a human, a lot more enjoyable and inspiring. It also means we are unashamed to ask for help when we need it – in fact, we encourage it!

Mindset:

We use a growth mindset and are comfortable with a beginner mindset – there is always more to learn, more to do, and more areas to grow. We accept new ideas with open arms, and enjoy the journey of learning and being open. 

In any role, at any level, we believe this frame of mind is a critical mindset to have. We should never stop learning, and we believe this applies to our personal journeys & our professional ones. 


Respect:

We all play an important role and bring different perspectives, viewpoints, and ideas to the table. While we may not always agree, we know that dialogue and conflict are critical to growth & are a necessary path to get to the best possible solution. Our discussions are rooted in respect for each other and the diverse views we all bring.

Photo: Franciele de Silva

We love our values because they feed eachother so seamlessly. By leaning into our community, we immediately open ourselves to more viewpoints and ideas, and are able to engage in fruitful and meaningful conversations that drive us forward. 

Have you ever done a values exercise? Brene Brown has a wonderful one that allows you to choose your own personal values, or if you have a company, you can do a similar exercise for your company! Share below!

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