leadership lessons 102
don’t leave these at the door 🚪
I’m afraid there are no wedding photos to share this particular week (but there is another sidekick one coming up really soon!). However this past week wasn’t without its special moments – it was my (and my son’s) birthday. We had a good time celebrating together and although it wasn’t a significant one, I did find myself doing the usual age-inspired reflecting. There’s something that I have learnt really matters to me, and I often find myself pondering on whether I am paying enough attention to this thing as I live and lead. I have to say I do find myself found wanting more regularly than I would like.
Here’s your second thought in our two-part leadership chat.
102: Lead from Your Values
Again, I won’t win any awards for original thinking but maybe I might for bringing attention to important things. Knowing my personal values has been tantamount to my ability to make clear decisions at key moments in my life. I cannot overstate this. I can clearly recall several momentous decisions or situations in my life, and my values have been the deciding factor, the thing that gave me courage or the clarity to do what was right.
If you ever choose to take part in my Purpose Pursuit coaching course, then you’ll learn just how important values are to your life and leadership. But for today, let’s just consider a couple of key points.
You need to know what they are
Again, obvious. But not easy. You might think you know what your values are, but if you stopped to write them down – what would they be? You have to get your list down to a maximum of five really, otherwise they start to become unworkable in your life. When push comes to shove, although lots of things might have value in your life, you need to know what is the most important to you – your values have intrinsic importance TO YOU.
There are lots of lists of values out there but I like this list as a starting place.
Prioritise and rank
Even when you get your shortlist sorted, it can be worth going the extra distance and ranking them. For example, if generosity and adventure are both in your list, if push comes to shove – which is more important to you? This can help you when in trade-off situations where both values might not be able to be honoured. Which are non-negotiable and which are up for negotiation if needed?
Review and Act
We can’t just list our values – we need to take time to review if our lives and decisions are in alignment with them – this is the tricky bit because it might involve some disappointment and some tough calls. I know that when I do this I can often feel a little despondent to be honest, frustrated even that I am still choosing to live according to someone else’s values rather than my own. In those situations it’s time to make some change that moves the needle in the right direction. You don’t always have to do large grand gestures to get more alignment – in fact often a tweak here and there is just what is needed to get you on the right track. It might be hard in the un-doing, but it feels good when you’re living at peace with yourself.
Here’s my suggestion. Take a look at your calendar this next week or so. Book some time with yourself. An hour is ample I reckon to spend some time re-acquainting yourself with your values.
P.S. We did some work on our values at sidekick – you can read about them here. Time for some healthy review for us, too I think!