Thinking about values

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What are your values? And no, I don’t mean the five overused descriptors that your organisation has slapped on its values statement and which sound suspiciously like the five values used by every other company. Have a read of Patrick Lencioni’s article for the Harvard Business Review titled ‘Making Your Values Mean Something‘.

I remember my late friend and colleague Mark Broadbent telling me years ago that values shouldn’t be aspirational, but should verbalise the things that your organisation actually does value. Herein lies the difference between values and goals.

Unless you have good self-awareness and understand what you really value, you’ll struggle to understand what’s driving you when it comes to big decisions. It’s also important to talk about values in relative terms – we might both value community service, for example, but you might put it second to family and I might put it first. In some situations, you’ll prioritise getting out and doing your bit for the community – in other situations you might not.  

What did Socrates say? “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom”.

What are your values?

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