The Power Of Staying True To Your Values In A Business Context
Can you name your top 3 values on the spot? If you can, congratulations, you’ve put in some serious work. If you can’t, know you are not alone — most people can’t answer this question (yet). But that doesn’t mean it is not important…
Why your values matter
Whether you are aware of them or not, your values impact everything you do on a daily basis — they influence the decisions you make, they impact how you build your team, who you do business with (and who not), and — if you are acting in alignment with them — they ultimately give you peace of mind and a good night’s sleep.
Let me explain this on a real life example: my (business) values
I have a few general “life” values (you can see them on my LinkedIn) and 3 non-negotiable, must-have values for business: Purpose, Growth, Equity
As some of you know, I used to be a Consultant and went off on an entrepreneurial journey in Singapore. Before I said yes to the opportunity, I asked myself: what is the Purpose behind this move? The answer: it will get me completely out of my comfort zone, accelerate my learning curve and I will get out of it knowing so much more about myself and the type of business I can be successful in. Fast forward this is exactly what I got out of it.
➡️ You can grow much faster when you know your purpose and when it has been served (because then it is time to move on).
When things get tough I sometimes catch my mind beating itself up about my ‘failures’, I try to immediately snap out of it and instead rephrase the narrative in my head to: you are learning and without this experience you wouldn’t know what you know now. Yes, you really messed up project X due to your lack of knowledge about X, but going forward you’ll will be able to make much better decisions for the business & team. You go girl!
➡️ Simply put, when you know better, you do better.
By this I do not mean to undermine the importance of different roles and levels within teams — they are, at least in my view, indeed needed for a functioning organisation. But for me personally it is incredibly important to be in an environment where everyone has the same access to opportunities and performance & rewards are based on value contribution and not titles.
➡️ When you truly know what’s important to you, it is easier to make tough calls.
Why am I sharing this?
- First of all, I like to write things down so I can come back to it and can hold myself accountable for my outcome (because, well, now it’s public!)
- Secondly, I really do believe that if you understand the importance of knowing people’s values and drivers, you can place them much better. As leaders, it’s not our job to instil our values in people. It’s our job to help them identify theirs (if they don’t know them yet) and then work with what we’ve got. A win-win for both.
If you are unsure about your unique values, here’s a list you can look through and perhaps you’ll find yours: