Value is an interesting word. It can mean, “a person’s (or organization’s) principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” That’s what it typically means when we talk about “Core Values.” But, It can also mean, “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.” What I find interesting is how those two meanings relate to each other. The first meaning, one’s principles, standards of behavior, etc affects the second meaning, the importance, worth, or usefulness especially of and organization.
Some of My Values
When I started working with an organization awhile ago, I shared some of my core values with the leadership team early on. I once heard someone say that “contrast is the mother of clarity” so I also like to share what I think are the opposite of the values to help explain what I mean. They are:
Integrity – “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral uprightness.” Also, it means, “the state of being whole and un-divided (as in the structural integrity of a building). The opposite of Integrity is dishonesty, division, fragility.
Hunger – When my 19 year old 6 foot 3 inch tall athlete son is hungry he is motivated. He will not stop until he gets something to eat. He also becomes very creative when h’s hungry. I value the burning desire to learn, grow, achieve, and generally get better at things. The opposite of Hunger is satisfied. When you’re satisfied, you become complacent.
Love – Putting others before oneself like a good family (having each other’s back). Elements include: Patience (showing self-control), Kindness (giving attention, appreciation and encouragement), Humility (authentic, without pretense of arrogance), Respectfulness (treating others as important people), Forgiveness (giving up resentment when wronged), and Commitment (sticking to your choices). The opposite of Love is Self-Centeredness and Apathy.
There are other things I value, but this was a good list to focus on for the group.
I recently attended the John Maxwell Team International Maxwell Certification Event which is a 4-day leadership and coaching training certification. Part of the training was what they call the “JMT DNA.” It’s a list of 10 core values for their organization. I like the use of the term DNA to talk about core values because they truly do form the character and characteristics of the organization.
What Are Your Values?
Have you taken the time to measure what you value; what your values are? It would be a worthwhile exercise. Like DNA, the values we hold shape us and our organizations. The manifestation of those values will go a long way toward determining the value of the contributions you make to the lives of those around you as well as the value your organization brings to the market.
I’d love to hear about your values.