VALUES: Would you go to jail for yours?
Hi, I’m Henry Evans, Founding Partner of Dynamic Results. We help organizations decide on strategies, and most importantly, facilitate the execution of these strategies. Our two-year process begins with helping the people in an organization to ‘get real’ about their values.
In this video, we’ll give you some high-level insight on how we do this in what are sometimes very difficult and challenging team discussions. You might be thinking “Our organization has discussed values, and the discussion was easy. Now we’re all aligned”. If you are thinking this way, we encourage you to consider the possibility that you may not have had a deep, fully-transparent dialogue.
We worked with one executive team where the average tenure was more than 20 years. This team of 12 was convinced they knew each other well and felt they were deeply aligned . . . until they participated in our process. After a strenuous seven-hour discussion, three of the twelve decided to take early retirement and the other 9 felt relief, knowing that those spots would be filled by people with deeper value alignment.
Now, how do you define your “values”? We ask our clients to think of their values as so important that if any of their values became illegal, they would act on them regardless.
For example: if the government decreed that loving your family is now a crime, would it stop you from loving them? Probably not.
What about telling the truth? If it became illegal to tell the truth, would you still do it? Would you be willing to go to jail over it? Would you fight for your right to be truthful? If your answer is “yes”, truth is something you really value.
For me, two of my core values are justice and transparency. If I see injustice or if I feel I’m being lied to, I’m willing to escalate and take bold action. Action could mean social protest, or even a willingness to fight. It might involve working for an organization that values justice, equality, and telling the truth, and avoiding working for one that didn’t.
Now, ask yourself: What really drives me both at work and in life. What are the conditions and behaviors I require to be willing to work in an organization? What would make me leave?
Some people might say “work ethic” or “comfortable corporate culture”. Others value “focus on results and profit”. We’re not suggesting we know what you should hold as your most important values. However, we are suggesting that you can predict how your relationships and business results will shake out if you understand how well (or poorly) your personal values are aligned with the organization you bring your talents to.
Once a team becomes clear about shared values, they have a competitive advantage over teams that do not.
In high performing organizations, teams know that values are more than slogans. Values drive more tangible results and they drive the way the business runs. A few examples:
• Which clients you choose to work for?
• Whom do you hire?
• How do you engage in conflict?
• What is measured in a performance review?
. . . and many others
In short, get real about what you value, and do your best to work for an organization that shares these same values. Having that alignment, you will feel better about both yourself and the organization. The organization will benefit greatly as you continue to bring your “A” game to the table, ultimately producing better relationships and results.
Thank you, we look forward to hearing your thoughts. Let us know how you are doing.
As always, we appreciate your attention, and for additional ideas, follow me on twitter: @HenryJEvans
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