December 11, 2017

Values — What’s Your Top 5?

Values — What's Your Top 5?

Incorporating values into business and life can change the world.

Finding “common ground” with others can be challenging.

In the realm of leadership, one way to connect with others and find common ground is by leading them according to their unique values. Discovering what those are is essential.

We all have a unique set of values and we see the world through the lens of those values. As we know, one person’s values can vary drastically from others.

One of the fun exercises I like to share with business and sports teams is discovering and articulating their values. I do it through the Leadership Values Cards exercise. It’s a deck of playing cards with values.

Written on each card is a word, a leadership value. There are many to choose from, so I recommend selecting the top 5 that are most important. If you highly value something that’s not in the list, it’s okay to add it.

Please take a few minutes and select your top 5 values from this list

Accountable, Diversity, Independence, Simplicity, Achievement, Effectiveness, Integrity, Status, Authority, Efficiency, Knowledge, Structure, Balance, Fairness, Legacy, Teamwork, Change, Faith, Loyalty, Trust, Commitment, Family, Wealth, Urgency, Competence, Fitness, Passion, Service, Courage, Fun, Perfection, Wisdom, Innovation, Growth, Quality, Honesty, Recognition, Customer Satisfaction

As you reviewed the list and selected your top values, you may have thought, “it’s hard to narrow them down to my top 5”. With several of the values, I bet you also thought, “how can someone truly value that?” Guess what, as you share with enough people, you’ll find every single value can be chosen as someone’s top value.

For instance, these are my top 5 values

  • Growth – investing in lifelong learning, personal development, self-education and  improving daily
  • Integrity – ensuring my words and deeds match who I am, no matter where I am or who I’m with
  • Legacy – making a difference today with tomorrow in mind and then investing my life into the lives of others
  • Faith – actively growing in my faith and sharing with others
  • Family – spending quality intentional time with loved ones

As I’ve taken leaders through this exercise I’ve discovered a few things

  1. People realize this is the first time they’ve thought about their values in a professional setting
  2. People are aware of their values, but didn’t realize they’ve been compromising them
  3. People are aware of their values and kept them, but were not aware of the values of those who work with them and how they may be compromising their values

So… here are some thoughts to ponder

  • Do you clearly know your values?
  • Are you living according to your values or are you compromising them?
  • Do you know the values of those on your team and others you may lead?
  • Are you leading them according to their values or are you trying to lead them according to your values?
  • Does your organization live by their values?
  • Do you have a culture of values?

Take Away

My recommendation and encouragement is to take your team members through the Values Cards exercise. Once you understand the unique values of those on your team, don’t try to lead them all the same way.

Lead them uniquely based on what they value. In doing this, you’ll find common ground and gain their respect.

Please consider adding this John Maxwell book to your growth library. One of the best chapters is the one from “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, chapter six, Connectors Connect on Common Ground.

“Values are more important than vision in building a great organization.” – Dr John C Maxwell

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