“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”Roy E. Disney
How do we make decisions we are faced with every day? For many of us, the process is a mystery. Some find it very difficult, others make their choices quickly, sometimes without due consideration. I have to confess that is one of my issues – I leap before I think.
When we take a moment to reflect on principles, we make choices that are more likely to serve us in the long run.
This is true in such simple things as deciding what to eat. As one WW coach used to say, nothing tastes as good as feeling thin feels, but it’s easy to ignore that feeling for the immediate pleasure of the taste. When we choose based on the priority of health, we make better choices.
Sharing the same core values with your friends, family and business is also important.
We have all seen families torn about by differing standards and judgements. As I reflect back on my career, I can see clearly that my partner and I were out of alignment as our business started to decline. He decided to partner with another company whose values were much more focused on the bottom line rather than the people and their integrity. As a result, we ended up on the losing end of a major lawsuit that cost us the rights to a major film that would have changed the course of our business. We were not honest in our dealings with the director of the film, and they justifiably denied us the right to show the movie. It was a very painful experience that taught me first-hand what happens when you don’t stand united for what you believe to be important.
Aligning with that clear vision also allows for clear accountability.
Everyone understands the rules that they have to follow. I think many of you are familiar with how Zappos made excellent customer service one of their key values, empowering their employees to take care of their customers with little need for approval from above. Conversely, Walmart cares about saving people money, so there is little customer service available.
When you set those clear boundaries and stay focused on them.
You are much less likely to get distracted by shiny objects or amusements along the way that may be entertaining but don’t serve you. To quote Star Wars, “stay on target, stay on target.” But what is that target? That’s where so many of us miss the mark.
I’ve created a core values exercise for those that have never done this or if you need to take a fresh look. Having a list can get your thoughts rolling in the right direction. As the exercise explains, it’s helpful to get a more extended list narrowed down to a few fundamental values you can easily focus on.
Another easy exercise is to look at people you admire and try to determine what values they live their life by. These can be people in your life, historical figures or even fictional characters.
Defining your core values is the first out of 7 Steps to Determine Your Destiny.