Developing Your Core Ideology

core ideology

Did you know speaking out loud makes something more real?

Or at least, that’s what the authors of “Built to Last” shared. In the book, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras dive into the successful habits of visionary companies. And one is developing your core ideology.

They share something they learned in the course of their study: social psychology research strongly indicates if you publicly state a point of view, you will be more likely to act upon it. “The very act of stating a core ideology … influences behavior toward consistency with that ideology,” wrote the authors. “The visionary companies [in our study] don’t merely declare an ideology; they also take steps to make the ideology pervasive throughout the organization and transcend any individual leader.”

What is it Made Of?

But before we can even begin talking about hanging that core ideology up on your walls, we need to talk about what it’s made of. It comes down to two things: core values and purpose.

I’ll use Peake Media, Campus Rec Magazine’s parent company, as an example. Our purpose – “the organization’s fundamental reasons for existence beyond just making money” – is to educate and empower fitness professionals. Our core values – “the organization’s essential and enduring tenants” – are inspire, live like champions, two ears one mouth, train like a gladiator, create and innovate, and we have fun, period.

Note two things: The authors share the primary role of purpose is to guide and inspire. And core values should be between three and six, as “only a few values can be truly core – values so fundamental and deeply held that they will change or be compromised seldom, if ever.”

Will They Last?

When looking at Peake Media’s core ideology, we have to ask if we’d strive to live up to these values for years to come. We also need to ask if they are authentically believed, especially by leadership. That is the key when it comes to setting your purpose and core values – what is authentic and real to your company or organization?

I know I’ve written about this idea before, especially concerning the Hedgehog Concept. But knowing who you are and what you believe is essential to your rec enter. It is your guiding light, now and in the future. As this industry changes and evolves, you will need to as well. “In short, a visionary company can, and usually does, evolve into exciting new business areas, yet remain guided by its core purpose,” wrote the authors.

Do you have your core ideology ready to guide you?

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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