Lessons learned at work can sometimes overlap into your personal life…recently for me, I was instrumental in defining our company’s twelve core values which are proudly on display in the lobbies of our six offices…..everyone visiting an office can see them and get a sense of what we are all about – for example, ‘WOW the Client’, ‘Demonstrate Integrity’, etc….Often in a conversation with a colleague or potential client I find myself referring to a core value to best answer a question or to clarify a point about our services….this led me to start thinking about personal core values…do people ever think about this? How often do we stop, consider, and literally define what is at the core of who we really are?
For some it may be religion, commitment to a cause, or to skill development….Growing up, most of us are taught about the importance of honesty, responsibility, kindness, etc, yet as individuals, apart from our upbringing, each of us is unique and lives by a set of our own personal values – defined or not. Let me take the liberty of using Ginger as an example, focusing on the top three for the sake of simplicity….
- Family – of utmost importance above all else.
- Cleanliness – next to Godliness….anyone that ever visited my mother will be nodding their head…while not easy to live with, home was meticulously neat and immaculate at all times.
- Motherhood – also next to Godliness….to Ginger, being a mother was the ultimate loving role in life – well over the father – and she believed the woman’s place was in the home.
Now – though I am “Ginger-bred”, my core values are quite different – such is life! My top three:
- Be True to Yourself – trust your gut and always do what feels right for you.
- Risk-taking – leave your comfort zone regularly and continue to learn throughout life.
- Work Hard/Play Hard – nothing good comes easy, it takes time and energy to accomplish great things…balance that with FUN on a regular basis.
What’s the point of defining these core values? Yes, you are already living by your values but to define them gives you a sense of being grounded and understanding yourself better…..when life presents you with difficult decisions and/or situations, thinking of your core values can be helpful….even in wisely managing your personal resources such as time and money…….they can also be used as guidelines that help you with relationships and career paths……on more than one occasion my children have come to me for advice and I will defer to Core Value #1: What feels right to you? Trust your gut….this was even knowing that their choice would not be ones that I would choose……
So – I bet your mind is already spinning – “What are my core values???” Maybe one or two are obvious, but a top ten list? Here are some values to consider…….as you review the list (or think of others), you should also think about major choices you have made in the past several years to uncover a recurring theme or focus….. Obviously there are no rights or wrongs, no good or bad……we are all unique and will all have different values; that’s what makes life so interesting – and also challenging at times.
Do you think it’s important to share the same core values with your significant other? I would bet if your top three conflict significantly there could be trouble! Would love to hear your thoughts…..