Last week we talked about the value of organizational values. What about your personal values? Do you know what they are? Everyone has them but some people have intentional values and others have accidental values.
Why values matter:
Values multiply the power of your actions and results. They focus your attention and enable prioritization in an overly complex, demandingly busy world. However, they only work when you define them and use them. So don’t miss out on this action acceleration boost.
What values are:
A value is a deeply held belief or assumption that drives behavior. Whether you are consciously aware of them or not, you have a core set of personal values.
What to do about values:
Identify, define, align, and then live them out.
Being intentional about your values requires that you identify them and define what they mean to you. Then comes a critical fork in the road, alignment. Just as chiropractors preach the importance of an aligned spine, we are passionate about the alignment of people and organizations to their values.
The choices you make and the environment you put yourself in can either inspire you or deplete you. Without alignment you miss out on the value of values. Alignment ensures you are operating at your best and highest potential.
- Align your values with your organization.
When we coach leaders we often do an exercise where we help them define their personal values and then compare their values with the organizational values of their company. Misalignment between a person and the organization they work for creates tension and reduces performance. Take some time to define your own values and compare them with the operational values of your organization. You will gain valuable insight about whether there is a performance enhancing match or a performance inhibiting mismatch!
- Align your values with your time, money and relationships.
When people define their values, they often identify values they aspire to but don’t live out. Look at how you spend your time and money to determine whether your choices are in alignment with your values. Evaluate the people you spend your time with and consider whether they support or diminish the value of your values. If you see a mismatch (like you value your family but spend all your time at work) then you have a choice to make to get yourself back into alignment.
Once you’ve identified, defined and aligned your values it’s time to act on them. The action of living according to your values enables you to set priorities to reach your goals. Remember that we are human beings not human doings. Everything you believe, think and do creates who you become. Aligned values accelerate your progress along life’s journey.
When you identify, define, align and live by your values, you will become the human being you were meant to be. It’s not always just about action, it’s about the right action at the right time for the right reason. Values are your guiderails in the action packed adventure called your life.