Values are a way of living or being, that we hold most important.
Core values don’t change, but how we prioritize them do, as we go through different phases of life. When we dare to be different and step out of our comfort zones, its often a core value that yearns to be honored that underpins that courage. And it’s those same values that remind us why we are there, when we stumble or fall in our journey to be better.
Living into our values does not mean that we speak about or profess them – but rather that we live them.
At a recent leadership workshop that I facilitated, what came up strongly was that each member of the team viewed the values from their personal lens and had a very different perspective on whether we were living that value and to what extent. It is for this reason, that we talk about, give examples of, and share experiences of the values and which ones are being honored.
Values are so powerful – they evoke strong emotions, and we all know how important that is to effecting change and impact.
To be able to live into our values, the first step is to name them. If we can’t name them, we can’t live them. And in this article, I’m going to share what my personal values are, what experiences helped me articulate them, and how they form part of our core values at the Marya Leadership Academy.
3 Values that bring me to life
My core value is impact.
Through the work I do, the people I work with, the impact they have on the world. 13 years ago, when I was expecting my daughter, I was forced to confront my deep dissatisfaction in my work. Outwardly loving what I did, having fun (at that time – this was one of my priority values) and seeing my work reach results, I thought I had the best career. However, there was a deep dissatisfaction with the impact my work was having on the world. Digging deeper, I realized many of my clients had businesses that had impact on the world that was not aligned to my vision of the world.
Through this realization, I was able to shift careers, work on some amazing projects with some brilliant people, having the kind of impact on the world that made my work so worthwhile.
Today, I align my decisions through this lens. Will my time and effort have the impact (on individuals, teams, companies, society and the world) I am seeking to have?
What is your core value? Does it define you? How does it drive your decisions to say YES and NO?
2. Learning / Evolving
I’m a lifelong learner and surprisingly it took me to my 40th birthday to articulate that!
Learning is not just about going to a classroom, getting a new degree or certificate. Its opening your mind to new perspectives, new knowledge, new experiences and constantly growing and evolving.
I learn through many ways. I love learning new tools and deepening my coaching through programs and certificates, I seek feedback on my work, my business and my life – and surround myself with people who have the same value. I learn through teaching (I’m an adjunct professor of leadership and innovation at 2 leading business schools) – and through the experiences of those in my classrooms. I learn through reading. I learn through my children (OH! How I learn through my children!). And I learn through my travels.
And my 3rd value is generosity. I truly believe that the power of giving evokes abundance. This is a core value I’ve always lived – abundantly giving my time and listening to others, generously sharing my notes in school and college (lol!), abundantly helping my colleagues at work, and generously helping others. Yes sometimes my accountant and mastermind buddies ask me the impact this has on my business – but for me it’s natural to be generous.
Having a lot of values confuses us. Get clear. Focus on a few. You will find that many of the others pack themselves into your top 3 when you really delve into them. Reach out to schedule a values clarification exercise to get clear on your core values or write to us at email@example.com to book your free Breakthrough Session.
As Brene Brown says… “integrity is choosing courage over comfort, choosing what’s right over what’s fun, easy or fast. It’s practicing your values and not just professing them.”