Rick Miller published on Leader Values blog:
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”—Roy E. Disney
In working with leaders at all levels for many years, I have found that one simple exercise stands out as the single most impactful tool for Chiefs looking to increase their confidence. It comes down to values. And as we plan for 2019, who couldn’t use more confidence?
What is the exercise?
- Ask 10 people who know you well to each give you four words that describe what they think you “stand for.”
- Count how many different attributes show up among the resulting 40 responses.
- Ask yourself the question, “Can I stand strongly for 10, 20, or 30 values at the same time?”
- (This is the toughest part.) Review the sample list below and select the “core four” values you believe you most strongly stand for:
- Write them down!
- Immediately begin a 60-day program to think more about, speak clearly about, write regularly about, and act consistently in alignment with these core four values.
- After 60 days, go back to the original list of 10 people and ask them the same question.
- Evaluate your feedback. You will see a sharpening of responses into fewer categories. Getting everyone to say the exact same four words isn’t the goal (“empathy” and “kindness” are kissing cousins and can count as a single response, for example).
- Once you know what you stand for, take more stands.
Why does it work?
Success occurs when you receive feedback that your intention and your attention can combine to deliver different results. In particular, when you align what you do (your thinking, speaking, writing, and acting) with who you truly are (your core four values), you are at your most powerful.
One of the most potent forms of power comes from the concentration of focused energy found in a laser. The same thing happens when you choose to focus and concentrate on a specific set of values.
As you set your New Year’s resolutions, you’ll be well served if you add this little exercise to the list that includes going to the gym and eating fewer cookies.