If you work in the corporate world, you’ve probably heard about “core values.” They’re tacked to the break-room wall, printed on posters in conference rooms, and discussed at all-hands meetings. In most businesses, they probably go ignored most of the time by most of the employees. In the business world, these ideals are defined so that business leaders can check in and determine whether strategic and hiring decisions are “right” for the company. And while we can, as employees, live up to those values — they may or may not be our own values.
As part of the Why Not 3 Work/Life Balance 30-day Challenge, one of my assignments is to use a handy tool to determine my personal core values. The purpose for finding our own values is similar to why businesses define them: to serve as a gut-check for our choices, either before or after we make them. They are a tool for both guidance and reflection. They give us a clear sense of both who we are, and who we aspire to become.
It didn’t take long to find my core values. I identified my top 3 — Accountability, Mindfulness and Making a Difference — through a deep, immediate connection with each. When looking through a list of 120+ words that define core values, I knew “me” when I saw it.
Even though I just went through this exercise earlier this morning, I can see the benefits clearly. Understanding and putting words to the ideals that drive your inner-most self provides a solid foundation from which to make decisions. In dealing with people, I can ask myself, “Am I being accountable in my actions?” “Am I being mindful in making this decision?” “Are my actions making this world a better place?” I chose the word-cloud imagery below because there are so many sub-ideas wrapped up inside these behemoth values.
I plan on going into each of these ideas in deeper detail in individual posts, but for now I’m putting them here as an affirmation of my process. I’ll use these ideas to check in with myself, each day, week, month and quarter, to make sure that my vision, goals and steps align with and adhere to these values that define who I am and who I want to be.
Would you like to identify your core values? You can get the same tools I’m using by signing up for the 30-day Work/Life Balance Challenge from WhyNot3.com!