Stand for Something
Most of us have grown up with a heavy conditioning of the hero stories that were read to us as children, the bedtime books are filled with victory and overcoming insurmountable odds. That conditioning continues throughout our lives with block buster movies that carry that theme forward.
The sporting world is also glittered with such stories and we have been able to see more of those stories from the amazing athletes that have reached the peak of their abilities at the Olympics and Para-Olympics.
There are also millions of untold stories of what we would consider normal people, doing stuff that most of us would consider crazy in various walks of life.
I bumped into an Ironman triathlete recently who reminded me of the below quote:-
“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent and the choices you make shape your life forever.”
This fellow spoke about how annoyed he’d get when people just wouldn’t get up off the couch and have a go at something, it didn’t matter that they might not achieve the goal or not, it was more about who that person became as a result of the journey that they had started.
One of the core ingredients that these heroes have is that they are happy to put themselves in front of the world, they know they will be judged and even on occasion be misinterpreted but they stand solid on their values. They know whats important and they calibrate using their values to help guide themselves when making decisions, it allows them to steer through any trickiness that comes their way.
Most of us will know what our values are when we’ve spent some time to think about them but they might not be front of our minds and readily accessed when put on the spot. It’s certainly worth spending time writing out a list of things that you value and then focus on which 3 would be your core values. You’ll soon find out what you value most by what’s showing up in your life, in essence, you get what you focus on and in turn, that will help you see what you are consciously or subconsciously valuing!
A large number of organisations grapple with being able to live their values and engage the wider population, most of the time this is down to some simple steps from the leadership team:-
- Agree a True North & the vales that underpin the direction.
- Leadership alignment (Leaders to be effective followers/ role models)
- Crystal clear communication of the True North & the values to the whole organisation.
- Link behavioural change to the KPI’s and measure/reward.
- Support personal/professional development.
- Constant feedback loop on progress and how to improve (Quarterly town hall minimum)
Whether its at an individual level or a whole organisation, its so powerful to observe being in flow, the ability to stay in flow is all about standing for something and aligning behind that True North and the pillars are the values.