The Chuck Wielgus Blog: Our Core Objectives & Cultural Values

The Chuck Wielgus Blog: Our Core Objectives & Cultural Values

By Chuck Wielgus//USA Swimming Executive Director  | Friday, March 18, 2016

The senior staff leadership team at USA Swimming is hard at work putting together the business plan for the next quad (2017-20).  The 2020 Business Plan will provide an outline of the goals and strategies that we, as an organization and individuals, will be working toward. 

Our planning, and the work we follow through with over the next four years, will ensure that USA Swimming continues to grow, remains among the most prominent of all Olympic sport programs and invites even more young swimmers into our sport.

The first step we took in starting to construct the 2020 Business Plan was to re-affirm our belief and our commitment to the three aspirational objectives that we have worked by for almost 20 years now: BUILD, PROMOTE and ACHIEVE.

What frequently gets overlooked in our Business Plan are the 10 cultural values that we use to guide our work.  I meet with every new employee who comes to USA Swimming, and I stress to them that these values are the lifeblood of our organizational culture.  

These values provide us with the touchstones for HOW we’ll do our work and best serve our 400,000 members.  

Like every good business plan, ours will state goals and identify the strategies that we’ll use to reach those goals, but for me it is an absolute requirement that we achieve our goals by abiding by these 10 essential values.

  1. Embrace the responsibilities of leadership and strive for excellence in everything we do. 

  2. Act with integrity and openness. 

  3. Be service-oriented with our members, business partners and each other. 

  4. Engage in disciplined planning, but not be afraid to act intuitively to confront challenges and seize opportunities. 

  5. Identify clear priorities and allocate our time and resources accordingly. 

  6. Hold ourselves and each other accountable to the highest standards of performance results and professionalism. 

  7. Exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm for growth, and a positive “can do” attitude. 

  8. Encourage environments to which our members are safe.

  9. Promote the importance of diversity and inclusion. 

  10.  Strive to learn and improve, always be open to questions, and maintain a willingness to change. 
These values have evolved over time. USA Swimming has had tremendous success, but we’re far from perfect. Keeping these values foremost in our mind as we tackle our daily challenges drives our team to move us to the next level.  

The way to excellence is through constant improvement. I couldn’t have said it better than Dick Ebersol, the former President of NBC Sports, who once gave USA Swimming the greatest of compliments when he said that ours was a sport in which there is a “relentless drive for excellence.”  
These values are so much more than platitudes in a business plan. They are Commandments that form the pillars for how we will live and go about the business of continually looking to BUILD, PROMOTE and ACHIEVE to ensure that our sport is better tomorrow than it is today.  


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