When I was in college I bought my dad a Christmas present from the mall-based “Positive Slogans” store. It read, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
My father was a hard man. He served in Vietnam, made his living with his hands and was a smoker who died of cancer. When he died phrases like “he fought his share of demons” and “if you knew him you knew beneath the gruff exterior he was a good man” were shared to describe his journey.
He found purpose late in his life running an outdoor camp for the YMCA. My gift, given at the peak of my elevated academic wisdom, was meant to capture the impact he was having on others.
What I didn’t appreciate then is that no desktop clock with a happy slogan was needed to capture what he valued. He was busy living it for anyone to see.
“Show up, work hard and leave things better than you found them.” It was that simple.
During summers I would work with him. It was often hot, physical work that took all day to complete. And by the end, when I thought the job was done, he would remind me that the work wasn’t over until things were in the right place and ready for whoever came next.
Those were the values he left to his own child and part of what I try and instill to my children now. As we launch Vrity, a business about values, I recognize that values define you after you have gone. Our mission is to translate brand values into business terms that eliminate the risk and let brands be themselves for everyone to see.
It’s easy to put them on a motivational poster or a website for others to read. The real measure of values is in knowing that when others define your values they do so based on your actions, the ones you take time and time again, day after day.
That’s the measure of values. That’s Vrity.
Co-founder and CSO