As an organizational leader, you have created organizational values. These sayings and quotes are plastered around the office. They’re inspirational. They’re also likely not being lived out.
When we begin to display our core values, ideas, and visions visually, they become routine. We see them every day. Our team sees them every day.
It’s bland and dull after a while. These reminders of what we believe and value fade into the background.
We stop living them.
Live What You Value
What can we do about this? How can we continue to live out our values even when we’re immersed in the minutia of everyday leadership?
We know how easy it can be to drift away from our values. Look at business failures such as Kodak, Enron, and others that have taken the fall. They had values that they failed to live. This won’t be you!
Here’s how you live what you value.
It’s easy to say that you value something without living it out if you’re not held accountable. Ron Carucci says in a Harvard Business Review article that without accountability, values become a weapon to punish.
I agree with him that values can be used to punish others when there is no accountability. But, we also stray from our values when there is no accountability.
If we can say we value something but don’t have anything holding us to it, we will stray.
Find accountability for your values. Have people around you hold you to your word. If you value what you say you do, the accountability you have to others will hold you to it.
Check your actions:
In her Forbes article, Svetlana Whitener says we should interrogate ourselves when performing any activity. This is a great suggestion and something that works well.
When we begin to ask ourselves why we’re doing what we do, we can understand whether or not our actions are aligning with our values. You will quickly see if your actions speak what you believe.
Keep an eye on your actions. They will show you what you value. For example, if you say you value family time, but you spend every waking moment away from your family, do you really value them? On the other hand, if you say you value your faith and you have rearranged your schedule to be in church regularly, then your actions align with your values.
Talk about your values:
This tip coincides with the first way of having accountability. You can’t have accountability if you don’t talk about your values. However, this one goes further than that.
Talking about your values changes things. Scott Colby at Happier Human agrees. He’s seen fitness clients that have struggled to lose weight and stay on a fitness plan until they began talking about their newfound values with their friends. In doing so, they stopped their unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.
You can do the same. Begin talking about your values with your team, your family, and your friends. The more you talk about them, the more people will believe you. The more they believe you, the more you believe in yourself.
Your Values Matter
Our values show what we care about. Your values matter.
If you’re not being intentional with living out your values, you will stray from them. Use the three tips above to help you stay on course with what you believe and how you want to live out what you value.
When you live a value-centered life that is actually hitting the values you claim, you’ll find yourself more fulfilled, more effective, and happier.
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