value oriented actions

Posted on Tuesday.1.12.2010

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Values are a tricky thing. You can tell yourself and others that you value something, but if your actions don’t reflect it, it really doesn’t matter to you. For example, if you say that you value saving money, but your savings account has the amount in it as it did five years ago, you probably don’t.

So as the new year rolls along and you make your resolutions and set your goals, create them by orienting them closely with your values.

Action Steps
For the young leader
A lot of young leaders have a hard time figuring out what they really value. Here are three action steps to help you determine your values:

  1. Look back at 2009 and create a list of your accomplishments or areas of strength.
  2. What did you spend the most time doing during the past year? Work, reading, sports, hobbies? Create a list of your top five.
  3. You should notice some trends, you should be able to identify what you value and what you don’t.

In the next year, the things you spend the most time on, should be the things you value most.

For the learning leader
The learning leader needs his values to better align with his actions. It’s in my experience that I sometimes get bogged down by having TOO many “values” and not enough action. Here are three action steps to help align your actions to your values:

  1. Choose 3-5 (max) values to focus on this year. I think three is best. Whether it’s work related or life related, it will help you focus your actions if you don’t have too many values.
  2. Determine the amount of time you’d like to spend a week on each value. For example, if you value your professional relationships at work, set the amount of time you’d like to spend investing in your colleagues.
  3. After a week, evaluate how successfully your week reflected your values. If you value your family, did you spend lots of time with your family this week? To take it even further, show your list of values and time to someone close to you and check up on you, this can be your own personal values coach.

Though working hard is important, if your actions are in line with your values, your work will have more impact and more success as you grow as a leader. It’s simple, if it doesn’t fit in your values, why do it?

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