The key to your sanity as a leader: Being clear on your Personal Values

March 31, 2020

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ‘em all over everything you do”

- Elvis Presley

Why is it essential to beclear about your personal values?

Why are you leading a 4thSector enterprise? Why aren’t you running a straight-up commercial ventureand trying to make loads of money – or spending your time in a good, solid job?

It’s simple. There arethings more important to you than just pound signs. Yes, you need to earnenough to live the life you want but what really drives you is your values –what you hold to be important. So you must be able to name them – precisely –for two key reasons.

First, your values willdirectly impact your behaviour and decision-making, which as a leader willgreatly shape your enterprise to be a reflection of you, what you care aboutand think is important. Being able to name your values will help you achieveclarity and consistency in your planning and decision-making.

Second, one of thegreatest causes of conflict and indeed personal stress is when there’s a clashbetween an individual’s personal values and the values of the organisationitself. And – depending on the management structure – you might be on eitherside of that equation.

This makes it essentialfor you to be clear about your personal values and how they relate to yourenterprise. Once you can clearly articulate those values they’ll shine a lighton the choices you have to make, at all levels.

Simply, this clarityhelps reduce or even remove the stress of decision-making.

For Example

If you’re starting anorganisation, for example, you can consciously use your personal values to helpset the organisational values and so ensure that every decision about who youhire – or indeed who you do business with – is considered clearly through thislens.

On the other hand, ifyou’re considering joining an organisation, comparing your personal values tothose that the organisation is presenting is an ideal way to know if you’re agood fit for each other. If you’re not, you have to ask yourself whether youfeel in a position to change or influence the organisation – or whether it’ssimply not the place for you.

These are just twoexamples. But it’s no exaggeration to say that in every work situation beingclear about your personal values is a huge advantage.

So what are your personalvalues?Ournext blog in this series will give you two exercises that make it easy toarticulate them but for the moment just take a pause to try and list a few thatare really important to you.

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