Are you paying attention to your values?

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When I first started looking for images to tag into this blog post I searched values, because that’s what it’s about. What surprised, and maybe didn’t surprise me at the same time, was that the images were all of money and currency. And so it feels fitting to start there – with money.

Often when we are working towards a goal, we are doing so because it will better us somehow, in our capitalist society we have fallen into the trap of making money, wealth, financial success the measure of that betterment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist, I believe in business, I believe in goods and services having associated costs, and monetary compensation for work. These are my beliefs – but they are not my values. What’s the difference?

Well, my beliefs can change, they can alter, morph, and build as I learn and am exposed to different ways of life, different people, different cultures, different experiences. My beliefs are important to me, but they are not necessarily non-negotiable or black and white. But my values – they are core to who I am and how I live my life. They are inflexible, unchanging, and paramount to how I live my life. So while I believe that capitalism is important, I don’t put that belief before my values of integrity, compassion, connection, creativity, and resilience. So what happens when we create goals for ourselves that aren’t aligned with our values?

  • We become disenchanted with the goal over time
  • We don’t understand the direction
  • We feel icky (very scientific word)
  • We lack conviction
  • We lack authenticity

This all makes sense from a personal level, but what about business. It could be argued that in business the number one value is the almighty dollar. But a business based solely on money and the almighty dollar isn’t a business that is going to last. There are a few reasons for this. First, businesses that only care about money will eventually alienate their employees who will be consistently asked to do more with less, watching people they care about lose their jobs, or get asked to do things that aren’t right for the community, the customer or the shareholder. Second, businesses with money as the ultimate value will lose and alienate customers. More than ever, consumers are looking for companies with soul. You see this through social media and through uprisings like the occupy movement. The commentary of the public is turning social – so if your company doesn’t value some sort of social aspect then you are missing a huge market. Bottom line, if your company has money as the ultimate value and you create goals for your employees to achieve, they will lack conviction, not understand the direction, and feel misaligned to their own values.

When you are creating your goals it is important to understand how they align with your values. What are those core pieces of you that you are unwilling to compromise? The stronger the alignment, the higher likelihood for success in achieving those goals.

I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below about the core values that support you in determining your goals and directions. And for more on values, and how to dig into what your core values are sign up for the Mind Set Growth Zone to receive a free focus sheet on discovering your core values.

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