Creating Value, Inspiring Others

Our Mission Statement

"To passionately glorify God and radically serve people using all of our gifts and talents to create temporal and eternal value, inspiring others to do the same."

Core Values:

OUR CORE VALUES…the building blocks of personal and organizational character.

#1 Respect: Honor Each Other and Clients In Every Situation.

by H. Mark Daley III

Respect is, and must be, a core value of our company. One of the timeless tests of greatness for any organization is the answer to the question, “Do the members of the organization consistently treat each other and the clients they serve with respect?”. If the answer is yes, the foundation has been laid for other critical functions such as teamwork, customer service, healthy communication, learning, and accountability.

To respect is to give honor to, to esteem, to show deference for another. To respect is to prize, to value. Therefore, to treat someone with respect consistently is to have an underlying attitude that the other person is important–in every interaction with that person. To achieve this often requires self-control, selflessness, and ongoing commitment. In other words, hard work!

We all deserve a level of respect at the most fundamental level–we are all human beings. That is why we start off with respect towards someone we have never met and know nothing in particular about. Opportunity to respect individuals at higher levels is created as we learn more that is positive about someone or as we have more responsibility towards someone. For example, if I meet someone else on the Generation team, I respect them even more than if I knew nothing about them because I know our company has high standards in regards to whom we hire. If I meet guests at one of our hotels, I treat them with an extra level of respect because I have extra responsibility towards them as their host. 

I hope an individual goal for each of us at Generation is to think and act in ways that earn ever-higher levels of respect from others. Interestingly, one way to earn respect is to give it. As we do this we help ourselves, our company, and the world we live in achieve greatness. Let’s embrace respect as a core value at The Generation Companies–and enjoy the benefits!

#2 Growth: Encourage Each Other To Produce Meaningful and Lasting Results.

By H. Mark Daley

Let’s consider these synonyms for “growth”: advance, amplify, bud, develop, enlarge, expand, extend, increase, mature, cultivate, nurture. This list creates a sense for what we mean when we say that growth is something we value as a company. Too often those of us primarily responsible for the financial side of the company are tempted to think of growth in terms of simply making more money than we did before, or growing larger in terms of the number of hotels and total revenues. While these are important aspects of growth, we would be missing much of what this core value has to offer if we stop there.

Let’s go back to the list of synonyms. We can advance as a company by consistently delivering higher levels of customer service. We can amplify what we are doing by communicating better with our guests, our vendors and our investors. We can bud as a company by developing our team members to get them ready to take on more responsibility internally. We can develop ourselves professionally by making the most of training and educational opportunities. We can enlarge ourselves personally by not just serving our guests because it is our job, but because we care about them as people. We can expand others by inspiring them to think of their vocation as a calling that can be used for a higher purpose. We can extend ourselves as a company by reaching out to the local communities to which we all belong. We can increase our effectiveness on the job by finding ways to be more efficient and productive. We can mature as people by adopting a mind-set that views life on earth as temporary. We can cultivate our souls by humbling ourselves before our Creator. And we can nurture others by giving them love much like what we would like to receive. The list can go on and on.

Each of the “we can” sentences using the synonyms for growth above can be re-read as “we can grow” (if you really want this to sink in, try it). And as much as we might like to think we can simply maintain who we are as a company, the reality is that most things that are not growing are (here come the antonyms) atrophying, contracting, decaying, diminishing, shrinking, stagnating. These in turn lead to the direst ultimate results of destroying and killing. Is it too extreme to say that if we collectively refuse to grow as a company, to highly value growth with all its implications that we are ultimately choosing to destroy ourselves? I don’t think so, especially given how competitive our economy has become. So, let’s all embrace growth as a core value–and enjoy the benefits!

#3 Learning: Seek Out Instruction And Learn From Mistakes.

 

#4 Balance: Seek To Prosper In All Areas of Life.

When we talk about “balance” as a core value for our company we are primarily referring to how one allocates one’s own time and energy. Show us what you spend your time and energy on and we can tell what you value. Valuing balance means that we understand our personal limits and then allocate our valuable time and energy in ways that are consistent with what we value most. A personal example is that I can say I highly value my children, but if I allocate little of my time or energy to their welfare I am not acting in accordance with my professed value. A company example would be if I value business growth, but spend little time and energy on targeted sales and marketing activities then I am not acting in accordance with this value. Balance then can be defined as allocating our time and energy, indeed our very selves, in such a way as to be consistent with the values we hold. Sound easy? It’s not. Let’s take this one step further.

OK, so if we are all committed to the same values and committed to allocating our time and energy according to these values, where’s the rub? For me the rub has to do with the limited nature of my personal time and energy COMBINED with my passion to live well in all areas of my life! This includes the spiritual, relational, financial, emotional, physical, professional, intellectual areas of my life, my family’s life, and the “life” of the company! After all our tagline for balance is “Seek to Prosper in All Areas of Life”…easy to say! One definition of balance in the dictionary is “a harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements…” - this is what we are after! Are you successful in your career? Great, but is your family prospering relationally and emotionally? You have fun being part of your softball team, maybe you are even the star player, but do your coworkers respect the quality of your work on the job? You do a great job at work and have a nice family, but do you exercise and eat in such a way that your body is prospering?

At the root of the core value of balance is a desire for all of the Generation family to live well- rounded, healthy lives and an understanding that to be successful long-term this company must be made up of people who understand and have become competent in applying the value of balance to their lives. An organization made up of balanced people will be an organization that is stable, healthy and resilient. To me a commitment to balance also means that we are committed to helping each other achieve this balance by maybe moving a meeting so as not to conflict with a child’s graduation, or cheering for someone who is making efforts to get in better physical condition. In order to do this well we will all need to pull together and apply some of our other core values such as creativity, respect, service, even faith! So let’s all encourage one another to live balanced lives, lives that are harmonious and satisfying across the spectrum of who we are…and enjoy the benefits!

#5 Accountability: Be Responsible For Yourself and Your Teammates.

 

#6 Service: Be Extremely Dedicated To Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences.

 

#7 Fun: Embraces Joy and Humor as Essential Elements of Teamwork and Resilience.

 

#8 Communication: Value Listening and Strive For Honesty, Clarity and Effectiveness In Communicating.

Communication, Webster says, is an act or instance of transmitting information, a verbal or written message. Workdays are longer, the pace of life is faster, and there’s an endless contest for our attention. In an environment full of deadlines, cell phones, e-mail and other distractions, focusing long enough to listen to another human being can be a challenge.

Active listening prevents miscommunication, improves customer service, and increases your effectiveness. The secret may lie in using the Chinese characters that make up the verb “to listen”: ears, eyes, undivided attention, and heart. How important is it to keep the lines of communication open between you and your team? It’s imperative if you want them to support the company’s mission and goals, and to perform to your expectations.

Regular and relevant communication from the top down – and vice versa- results in employees feeling a strong sense of identification with and connection to the company. This is the very foundation of employee loyalty and team spirit. A lack of connection, on the other hand, can breed uncertainty, distrust, and alienation that frequently result in costly turnover.

Today, with technological advances such as e-mail, voice mail and teleconferencing, we have more means than ever to keep in regular touch with our employees. But technology can also be a barrier to communication, if you rely on it too much. When necessary use it as a fast, efficient way to connect. But, never forget the value of more personal “face-to-face” communication.

Anyone who knows Dare knows that she set a good example for us by the effort she puts into communicating and by being willing to make face-to-face contact with Generation team members, hotel guests, and prospective customers. Let’s all emphasize clear, concise communication as a valuable part of our culture… And enjoy the benefits!

#9 Excellence: Promise Only That Which Can Be Delivered and Then Deliver More Than Promised.

by H. Mark Daley III, President

When I hear the word “excellence” the cynic in me says, “yeah right, that’s just one of those things that sounds good that nobody really even knows specifically what it means, much less actually achieves it.” Do you ever think of excellence like that? Maybe that perspective has come from years of hearing the word overused and seldom demonstrated. Or maybe it is because I have a connotation of the word that implies it is unachievable. So what do WE mean by excellence when we describe it as a core value of our company?

The tag-line we have for excellence in the Generation Handbook gives us a clue, “Promise only what can be delivered and then deliver more than promised.” At Generation we primarily think of excellence as compared to the promises or commitments we make to each other, to our investors, and to our guests. The root of the word excellence is the word excel, which means to “be better than” or “surpass.” So at Generation when we consistently are better than what we promise to be or surpass what we promise to do we are achieving excellence! In my view this brings this somewhat high and mighty concept down to earth. Do we promise to be friendly and hospitable? Then let’s WOW our guests by surpassing the service they normally experience at other hotels! Do we promise to offer clean and well-maintained rooms? Then let’s make sure all of our rooms are better than what a guest paying the rate we are charging would ever expect!

This way of thinking about excellence can be applied to the seemingly smallest things. For example, have you promised to be at work at a certain time? If you actually arrived at work 15 minutes before that time consistently would that be achieving excellence on that item? Of course it would be! By looking at all of the other promises we have made, spoken or implied, large or small, then finding ways to consistently surpass that expectation and deliver more than promised we set ourselves up to be considered excellent. Do we have real life examples of people at Generation living and working this way? You bet we do! And we recognize some of these individuals and teams every year when we pass out our annual awards for the year, as we will for 2003 later this month. So stay tuned and congratulate the winners for the excellence they have achieved.

So while nobody can be perfect forever at everything, we can achieve overall excellence at what we do as individuals, as a team, and as a company. And when we do everybody wins: you, your team, your company and your customers. So let’s embrace excellence as a Generation Core Value…and enjoy the benefits!

#10 Stewardship: Determine to Maximize The Gifts, Talents and Resources Entrusted To Us All.

 

#11 Urgency: Approach Work With A Bias For Speed, Action and Enthusiasm.

by H. Mark Daley, III

When we think about core values some of them roll right off of our tongue: integrity, respect and excellence. But there is one core value we hold that is less universally celebrated, but often of equal importance and impact: “urgency.” The dictionary says that if something is urgent it is “of pressing importance” and that urgency is the state of being urgent, or of pressing importance. Why is urgency a core value? Because of the role it plays in creating value. A short story may be a good example.

At our house we have a little seven-pound Dachshund (often referred to as a “wiener dog” by the neighborhood children) that we bought a couple of years ago for our whole family, but especially for our oldest daughter who is a true animal lover. She gets first rights to the dog in exchange for being his primary caretaker (thus reaffirming the timeless link between rights and responsibility). Even though Daniel (a big name for a little dog) is almost two years old he still has “accidents” in the house from time to time (or is he just passive-aggressive?) Anyway, this weekend Daniel had an accident in our youngest daughter’s room, and when we told our oldest about it she said she’d take care of it. Well, about 15 minutes later I asked her if she had cleaned it up; she hadn’t. I then insisted that she clean it up right then and she did not understand what the “big deal” was. The other applicable detail is that the accident was within about six inches from her little sister’s bed that her little sister was currently required to be on by me because she was acting tired (to put it politely).

Hopefully the point of the story is obvious: WHEN we perform a task is often as important as the task itself! And in almost every case a task performed sooner is worth more that the same task performed later! When we have a sense of urgency about what we do, we say by our ACTIONS that our task is of pressing importance. In the story above, a sense of urgency not only would have communicated importance and been of value, but could have even been an act of love if done promptly and enthusiastically. Instead, the time delay and apathy communicated something negative.

So, what are we communicating to those we serve? To the guest who has a complaint that is resolved by us with a true sense of urgency we likely create satisfaction. When we consistently serve someone else on or ahead of THEIR timetable, not ours, we create loyalty. When we anticipate and act (instead of react) to serve someone urgently we likely create inspiration. When we show by our actions to our family that their well-being is of the utmost pressing importance to us we call it love. Satisfaction, loyalty, inspiration, love – all worthy of our commitment, and all often achieved without speaking a word. So whatever you need to do today, do it NOW and do it with enthusiasm, do it with urgency – and enjoy the benefits!

#12 Creativity: Promote Thinking "Outside The Box" and Embrace Innovation.

 

#13 Faith: Internalize A Commitment To Be Part Of An Eternal Plan.

by H. Mark Daley III

One of our core values listed in the Generation handbook is “Internalize a commitment to be part of an eternal plan...”Faith.” What does this mean? To me it means that our existence as individual workers, as a company, as people, has eternal significance and meaning. We can choose to know our Creative and be a co-laborer in His destiny for us and for the world. But the application of this approach to life requires faith, pure and simple.

Why faith? Because the very nature of such concepts as eternity, destiny and significance do not allow themselves to be reduced to a quantifiable science experiment. These are concepts and realities that are bigger and more enduring than creation itself. And, as such, we cannot fully engage with them or their Author without employing our heart and spirit as well as our minds. Faith is just such an engagement of heart, spirit and mind.

Fine, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with my day-to-day responsibilities at work? The answer: everything. The work we do is “the what”: cleaning rooms, paying bills, helping a guest. Faith gives meaning to “the what” of work.

Through the eyes of faith, cleaning a room can become an inspiration to our coworkers when done with excellence consistently. (does this sound like Coco to anyone?) Paying bills accurately, on time, every time, becomes a foundation for our financial and moral integrity to all who know or examine us. (sound like Bob or Mike?) Helping a guest becomes an act of kindness and service that builds loyalty and a reputation in the community that money can’t buy. (sound like Lynn?) Inspiration, integrity, service...these all glorify Him and create value. (sound like a mission statement?)

Let’s all enjoy the benefits of being part of a team, part of an eternal plan to touch people’s lives and fulfill our corporate and individual destinies. Remember, it all starts with FAITH!

#14 Integrity: Demonstrate True Character By Doing What Is Right Regardless Of The Consequences.

By H. Mark Daley III,

At Generation, we stand united in the pursuit of common goals and “integrity.” Our identity is in being part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s a drama that includes struggles, opportunities, and successes. And we are changing an industry, an industry that was devastated in 2001...an industry, a country, and a world that need people like us more than ever before. Every day that we choose to joyfully serve a guest, encourage a coworker, and trust in the God who made us, we make a difference in the lives of others, and, in our own way, in our world. Making a difference is about making a change for the better. And meaningful, radical change is what revolutions are all about.