Credo examples

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What Is a Business Credo?

In 1982, Johnson & Johnson crafted and executed a successful crisis response plan to poisonings in its Tylenol products by building on its corporate credo, which the company website summarizes as "to put the needs and well-being of the people we serve first." Because of Johnson & Johnson's actions, the company was able to defend and protect its brand. Without a credo, marketing and advertising efforts are scattered and less effective.

Company Credo Definition

A credo is a belief or value set that guides all company actions. For example, Walmart follows the core values first established by founder Sam Walton. These beliefs are "respect for the individual," "service to the customer," "act with integrity" and "strive for excellence." The company credo for Ritz-Carlton Hotels begins with the statement, "The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission." Verizon's credo focuses on superior customer service, quality products, accountability, agility and integrity as a core value.

Development of a Credo

A small-business credo can be penned by its owner or by a communications professional. Small-business owners with a handful of employees can develop a company credo by brainstorming, soliciting advice from industry trade associations or reviewing credos of similar companies. Small-business owners can also give each staff member one week to come up with a company credo.

After a week, the team should meet and hammer out the credo. If credo development is assigned to a communication professional, she should not begin until she has a solid understanding of the small business owner's needs. She should consult department leaders to get a well rounded view of the company.

Challenges of a Credo

Creating lofty but meaningless company credos is a common pitfall. To avoid a credo with impressive words but little meaning, small-business owners should keep their credo simple and specific. For example, the IKEA vision opens with the statement, "IKEA offers a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them."

Credos that can't be immediately grasped by employees will provide little direction. In addition, companies will be judged by how well they live up to their credos, which means that companies need to set realistic expectations.

Company Education

Small-business owners should not forget to educate their employees about the company credo or assume that employees will find and follow the credo on their own. They should communicate the credo to internal and external stakeholders, such as suppliers, customers, employees and investors, and ensure that company actions live up to the beliefs outlined in the credo. In addition, credos should be reviewed and revised as the company grows.



What Is a Credo?

Credo is a Latin word, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as "a statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone's actions." In the corporate world, a credo is similar to a company's mission statement, its beliefs, principles, or purpose. A company's website likely will contain a prominently displayed mission statement, along with the firm's goals and objectives. In the best possible world, a company would use its credo to guide its actions.

It may be easier for privately held companies to demonstrate their credos through action because public companies have fiduciary duties to their shareholders that could constrain a corporation's activities.

Corporate Credos in Action

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

Consumer-goods and pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson boasts a storied credo developed by its founder, former chair Robert Wood Johnson, in 1943. Known as "Our Credo" it begins as follows:

We believe our first responsibility is to the patients, doctors, and nurses, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services. In meeting their needs everything we do must be of high quality.

Johnson & Johnson's credo upholds values of fair pricing, reasonable wages, and strives to instill an atmosphere of innovation by listening to workers' ideas. Moreover, Johnson & Johnson believes that a company's management should comprise ethical and responsible citizens.

The company established its credo long before environmental, social, and governance issues became the critical factors that they are today in how the world perceives a corporation. Johnson & Johnson has always viewed its credo as more than a moral compass, as evinced by the company's recalling all of its Tylenol products in 1982 when seven people in the Chicago area died after taking Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules. This renowned example of corporate ethics in action cost Johnson & Johnson more than $100 million.

Patagonia (Private)

The privately held clothing retailer Patagonia has been at the cutting edge of social responsibility, environmental activism, and advocacy for public lands and the outdoors for the past 45 years. For most of this time, its mission has been to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

In 2018, however, in view of the global climate change initiative, the founder and chief executive officer of Patagonia changed its credo to something more direct, urgent, and crystal clear: "Patagonia is in business to save our home planet."

If anyone doubted Patagonia's commitment to walking the walk, the company's directive to its human-resources department six months later was, "Whenever we have a job opening, all things being equal, hire the person who’s committed to saving the planet no matter what the job is."


JetBlue began operations in 2000 when the airline industry already had a number of low-cost carriers, so the company needed to differentiate itself from the competition immediately. Right from the start, JetBlue manifested its credo of "Bringing humanity back to the airline industry" through its customer-friendly attitudes and actions. Putting its credo into practice sooner rather than later also helped the new airline evolve its branding strategy. JetBlue's newest credo, "We're always up for good," is part of its larger JetBlue values theme.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS)

Some companies have long credos similar to Johnson & Johnson's two pages of text. Other firms opt for shorter, easy-to-remember credos that sometimes act as logos or tag lines. Large companies that are umbrellas to numerous subsidiaries or trademarks may create credos for their most popular brands—Walt Disney's Disneyland, for example. It took the company a long time and a lot of financing, but Disneyland was finally able to make good on its credo of being "The happiest place on earth."

Key Takeaways

  • A credo is similar to a company's mission statement, beliefs, or principles.
  • Credos are important because they help companies to define their corporate cultures, articulate their values, and market their brands.

Why Credos Matter

Using a credo as guidance is important to businesses for many reasons—from helping them define their corporate culture and articulating their values, to clarifying their reason for being. When creating a credo, many corporations focus on putting their customers first, which lets consumers know that they are important to the company ahead of revenue and profits; especially in the hospitality and restaurant industries, for which customer service is critical.

Moreover, a credo is the indispensable groundwork for any marketing campaign. Having a credo also can guide employee behavior and influence collective actions across the firm by sending workers a concrete statement of the company's values—leading them to ask, "What would management want us to do in this situation?" or "Would our actions reflect the company's image properly?" Without a defined purpose, corporations can falter, lose direction, or languish during long unproductive periods.

Credos of Public vs. Private Companies

In general, it is easier for privately held companies than public companies to uphold their credos via their actions. One reason for this could be that public companies are constrained by their fiduciary duty to shareholders to maximize profits. Public companies with customer-facing brands, however, are an exception. They can often act on their credos with less conflict, as their market incentives generally align with their corporate values.

A 2018 research study from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business discusses whether corporate social responsibility really does benefit society. The study agreed that private companies more than public companies likely would follow through on corporate social-responsibility declarations. "If the CEO of Patagonia wants to buy organic cotton, he can make it happen even if it means lower [profit] margins," quoted Patagonia's founder in this study. "A public company has to justify that [purchase] to shareholders."

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The name Credo means “I believe.” As part of our application process, students are asked to write an essay entitled “What I Believe.”  Following are excerpts from these essays from Credo students:

I believe that people who have been raised without compassion have none to give, and think of everything that they do not wholly comprehend as something that must be destroyed. To resist and remedy this, then, we have to give children our whole-hearted love and affection at an early age, so that, when they are grown and the future of our planet lies in their hands, they will have the wisdom and benevolence to shape it well.

Through music and good friendships I have discovered my passion in life. It has made me a global citizen. I wish more people would not just care about the earth but really do something for it and take a stance. I believe that the only thing holding you back is yourself.

I believe that the world is never going to evolve without independent thinkers. Such thinkers, who have not yet been trained to think a particular way, are so much more open-minded and interested by ordinary things and consider all happenings a phenomenon.

I hope that people can allow themselves to be more open and less afraid and therefore make the right decisions. Humanity and civilizations have been devastated by people’s greed and fear, and yet we still develop despite the many mistakes we make. I believe that’s what it means to be human: to continue to create, gracefully, after tragedy.


I believe that art is one of the most important things a human can do. I don’t think art has to be beautiful; I think it just has to mean something. I believe that art is a physical expression of love.

I believe that the person I am today is because of my experiences yesterday, and the days before that. The choices I make today will shape my future tomorrow, and if I try hard, my future will be as great, exciting and open as it can be.

I believe in learning from mistakes so that it is possible to laugh about them later. I think it is important to be able to lighten up when things go wrong. It’s important to try to correct whatever can be corrected, but also to not be too hard on yourself or on other people. This helps everyone learn responsibility.

I believe in friends. For me, friends are most important, especially the ones who will always be there for you, stand up for you, protect you. When you have a good group of friends, you have community.

I believe that treating all things, including Mother Nature, with love and care is the key to happiness…I need to pace myself in utilizing resources, giving the earth a chance to reproduce these gifts. Just as in my relationships with others are ones of give and take; my relationship with the earth is as well. I must remember to give back that which is beneficial to the earth. By recycling, using my bike as transportation, and working in my family’s garden, I make important effort to give back to this earth that gives me so much.

When I sing, all my anger flows out and I can just let go. Other people may scream and yell and break stuff, but I just sing.

I believe friends and family are the most important things in life—without them you have nothing.  And I believe alien life exists, because in such a vast universe there must be life out there somewhere, right?

I believe that education saves lives, that children should grow up feeling safe and that everyone deserves a second chance.

I believe capital punishment is ridiculous. First of all, if someone has, for example, committed murder, it’s not right to kill them. Then you’re just as bad as the person who killed someone, and they don’t get the chance to become a good person.

I believe that being scared or worried that something is going to happen will get you nowhere in life. You have to choose that nothing bad will happen to you and then nothing bad will. You have to choose not to be scared.

I believe in learning for life, which is why I love Waldorf education. We learn how to think in different ways. If knowledge is power and thinking gets you knowledge, then thinking in as many different ways as you can is a very powerful thing.

I believe that soon the majority of the world will realize how children’s brains truly work and all schools will become more like Waldorf schools.

I believe in freedom. Asia and Africa are the two main continents where boys and girls are forced to work and are sold as slaves. Here, in a grocery store, you can buy food that is either fair trade or not fair trade. This shouldn’t be an option. I believe one day the world will cease having child labor.

I believe that if we work together with not only the adults in the world, but the children as well, we can find a solution to anything.

I believe that the person I am today is because of my experiences yesterday, and the days before that. The choices I make today will shape my future tomorrow, and if I try hard, my future will be as great, exciting and open as it can be.

I believe that community involvement is very important and I feel a great responsibility to help my community by sharing my talents. I feel that it is important to help regardless of age, and that everyone has something they can bring to the table to make their community safe and also peaceful.

I believe that music is the answer to many problems that we face in this world. I also believe in world peace. I believe that through the many different genres of music, people could listen to what type of music they like and be in their own personal “peace.”


One thing that I believe is that everyone should have the right to be unique. I don’t like it when kids expect you to be like everybody else. I never really knew the point of a group of people all looking or acting the same.




Examples credo

Do you have a credo?

My dear friend and colleague Phil has a zest for life that is unmatched. He is an organizational consultant, facilitator, minister and entrepreneur who also has a passion for practicing the skill of motivation. But his entire life changed in an instant when he almost died from a severe and sudden brain aneurysm.

After multiple surgeries and procedures, Phil endured months of relearning to walk, talk and basically function. Then, one day, Phil recounts his doctor’s words: “’Mr. Reynolds, there is a 5% chance a newly discovered aneurysm will burst before your next scheduled surgery.’”

As the doctor was speaking, Phil could only think about the weeks in the hospital when his first aneurysm burst. Not wanting a repeat experience, he replied, "Well, that means there is a 95% chance it won’t burst! I will choose to live in the 95%.”

Phil realized he had to shift his motivational outlook day to day to flourish in the 95%. One of the first actions he took was to craft a life credo. You might want to follow Phil’s example. The word credo is Latin for “I believe.” A personal credo is a statement of your core beliefs, or guiding principles, and your intentions for integrating them into your everyday life.

Phil’s credo:

  • I choose to always act with a purpose. When you are not certain about the time you have left, you want to be sure that what you are doing is making a difference. Every action has some layer of intentionality behind it, whether it’s taking my wife to dinner or tackling difficult issues with clients.
  • I choose to write a daily gratitude list. Every day has something to be grateful for. Even on days when I feel physically terrible, I take time to reflect on the people, experiences and things for which I am grateful. This gives me some perspective on who I am and the people who’ve changed me; it allows me, through the pain of my illness, to be grateful.
  • I choose to send thank-you cards or emails. I take time to say “Thank you!” to the people who have made a difference in my life. Writing a physical note helps me reflect on the positive. As a bonus, it gives that person a positive emotion for their day.
  • I choose to stop complaining. Complaining led me to negative thinking, which impacted not only my state of mind but my emotions. I must take ownership of my thoughts and actions to maintain my level of energy and focus. Complaining pro-duces no solutions and solves no problems.
  • I choose to learn something new every day. I read. A lot. I learn from my participants in workshops. I have mentors who answer my questions. I listen to my kids!

Phil’s credo defines Phil in a nutshell. I am pleased, but not surprised, to report that living in the 95% during multiple operations and rigorous rehab, Phil is back to 100%, working with clients as a consultant and life coach and flying across the country teaching workshops on topics he knows from firsthand experience, such as self leadership and trust.

Craft your own credo

Notice how Phil’s credo spells out how he will create choice, connection and competence in his life -- the three psychological needs required to generate optimal motivation and promote thriving.

To create an optimally motivating credo to guide your everyday life or help you shift when you feel overwhelmed by a situation, external distractions or pressure, include actions that create choice, connection and competence, such as:

I create choice:

  • I choose how I wake up and live my life every day.
  • My choices reflect my values and who I truly am.

I create connection:

  • What I do to others, I do to myself.
  • My work is meaningful and contributes to a greater good.

I create competence:

  • I consciously improve my skills because doing what I do well is one of the ways I contribute to others.
  • By learning something new each day, I spark wisdom, progress and change.

Phil acknowledges that we all have issues that might keep us from being who we want to be, such as anger, impatience, jealousy, pessimism, indifference, resentment and pride, just to name a few.

By creating a credo, "mastering my motivation to live in the 95% with choice, connection and competence improved my well-being and, I’m convinced, helped me heal," Phil says. "But more importantly, the quality of my motivation helped the quality of life for my family and close friends who went through this challenge with me every step of the way.”

Susan Fowler implores leaders to stop trying to motivate people and is on a mission to help others learn the skill of motivation. In her latest book, “Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals,” due out in June, she helps individuals master their own motivation, achieve their goals and flourish as they succeed. She is also the author of bylined articles, peer-reviewed research and eight books, including the best-selling “Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager" with Ken Blanchard and “Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... And What Does: The New Science of Leading, Engaging, and Energizing.” Tens of thousands of people worldwide have learned from her ideas through training programs, such as the Self Leadership and Optimal Motivation product lines. For more information, visit

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for SmartBrief’s free e-mails on leadership and career development, among SmartBrief's more than 200 industry-focused newsletters.

Credo in Latin

What is an example of a credo?

A creed. The definition of a credo is a statement or system of beliefs or guiding principles. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you is an example of a credo.

What is your personal credo?

The word credo is Latin for “I believe.” A personal credo is a statement of your core beliefs, or guiding principles, and your intentions for integrating them into your everyday life.

What is a credo essay?

A credo is a personal belief or passion that centers an individual. A credo essay assignment asks you to describe why your personal belief is so important to you. As a first step to writing a credo essay, make a list of things you believe in. Think emotionally and logically about what brings fulfillment to your life.

What does credo mean?

I believe

What is another word for credo?

What is another word for credo?


What does autocrat mean?

1 : a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority. 2 : one who has undisputed influence or power He was the autocrat of his household. Synonyms More Example Sentences Learn More about autocrat.

What does dogma mean?

1a : something held as an established opinion especially : a definite authoritative tenet. b : a code of such tenets pedagogical dogma. c : a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds.

What does Sanctus mean?

: an ancient Christian hymn of adoration sung or said immediately before the prayer of consecration in traditional liturgies.

What does Agnus Dei mean?

Agnus Dei, (Latin), English Lamb of God, designation of Jesus Christ in Christian liturgical usage. It is based on the saying of John the Baptist: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

What Kyrie means?

Kyrie, the vocative case of the Greek word kyrios (“lord”). As part of the Greek formula Kyrie eleison (“Lord, have mercy”), the word is used as a preliminary petition before a formal prayer and as a congregational response in the liturgies of many Christian churches.

What sanctimonious means?

1 : hypocritically pious or devout a sanctimonious moralist the king’s sanctimonious rebuke— G. B. Shaw. 2 obsolete : possessing sanctity : holy.

What does morally mean?

adjective. of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.

What does moralizing mean?

transitive verb. 1 : to explain or interpret morally. 2a : to give a moral quality or direction to. b : to improve the morals of.

What do you call a self righteous person?

Self-righteousness, also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness and holier-than-thou attitudes is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.

How do you know if someone is self-righteous?

Self-righteous people are most interested in themselves and only interested in others to the degree that others support their image of rightness. When a self-righteous person is truly out ranked, out smarted, or out classed, he usually shuts down and doesnt know what to do.

How do you respond to a self-righteous person?

Self-righteous people thrive on attention, it’s why they start things or unnecessarily continue things. When confronted by them, don’t give them what they want. You may agree with them, disagree with them, kind of sympathize with them- just don’t show it or say anything. Let your silence and inaction speak for itself.

Are Narcissists self-righteous?

You are self-righteous Narcissists often believe their views are inherently superior to other people’s perspectives. But what they truly value is the attention they receive for holding those views.

What are narcissists weaknesses?

A monumental weakness in the narcissist is the failure to look internally and flesh out what needs to be worked on. Then, of course, the next step is to spend time improving. The narcissist sabotages any possibility of looking deep within.

Why do narcissists ignore you?

Narcissists will ignore you as a punishment for some perceived slight such as not worshipping them. You may be ostrasized, given the cold shoulder or the silent treatment. This is their way of killing you off. Basically to sum it up, if you are a threat to their ego, you’re going to get ignored!


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