What we do value most or better yet, what we are passionate about largely depends on our core values. Once we understand our own core values and those of others, it becomes much easier to achieve results we seek, achieve success that we feel good about. Then the path to create those results also becomes clearer, whether this may be for personal or business achievement.
More often than not we make choices without thinking about them. What are your most important values? Whether we aware of it or not, whether we accept it or not, it is our core values that define our preferences, thus what we value most and to what degree; to the point of being very passionate about it. Clarity on your core values is an essential leadership skill for direction and to achieve sound sustainable success.
Even when it comes to, for instance, determining the value of a tangible item such as a car, a house, or a piece of jewelry, there could be as many opinions as there are people in the world. In the case of something intangible such as developing a new service, creating a software application, or a vision for an organization, it could be much more subjective than that. This is because we each have our own set of values through which we perceive the same exact things and what it means to us at any one time. This is the second fundamental cause of all obstructions towards achieving success, in particular, achieving commonly shared success, the alignment of values into shared values.
Through our values we make our decisions and it is what carries a person, an organization, or community to greatness or mediocrity. It is what influences our buying decision to get that new car we want, or that nice jewelry for a loved one; or, to buy-in or not to buy-in into an idea.
Although in the end, we do make our own choices, we do certainly also get help. One way this happens is well illustrated in the following presentation delivered through TED.com, where Rory Sutherland, “makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider ‘real’ value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.”
What do you value most? Once this is clear, it is much easier to build, create, buy, and go after what we are most passionate about and reach the results that we seek. Here is a perspective that points to one possible starting point to answer that question:
“Out of love making and birth; so chaotic, messy, with vast improbable possibilities; comes such a one and only miracle that is, U!”
If we value our own most inner essence, we are most likely grounded in valuing other aspects of our lives in a way that allows us to make the choices and achieve more sustainable success, which makes us feel good.
So, to more effectively get the results that really matter to you or your organization and that really makes a lasting difference:
- Clearly define and communicate the values that you seek. In the case of an organization, ensure that these values are also commonly shared through a consensus building dialog process such as Open Space Technology (OST).
- Then map out a path to align to and meet those values.
- Get the resources necessary.
- Then take action, guided by these core values.
After all, achieving results that makes us feel good is an important aspect of what matters most to us. That provides us with the inspiration and enough passion for the next challenge.