Ways to distinguish yourself – #9 Know your values

At first, I thought the title should be “Make effective decisions” or
“Be a great decision maker” but I decided against it as our personal
values are the foundation on which we make our decisions.

We all know that values are important. Whether we want to believe it or
not, we all have a set of values. Guaranteed! Values, in the basic
terms are deeply held beliefs of what is important for us, Values state
what matters most in our lives.

Values may change over time but it’s important that we know what they
are at this point in time. Interestingly, very few people spend their
time trying to identify their values. Whenever we make any significant
decisions, it will be based on our values so it’s important that we
know what those are.

There are so many resources available on the Internet to help you
identify your core values. Do a search on google for “personal values”
and you should see a few websites popping up.

When we attended the The Leadership Challenge workshop a few days ago (from Bluepoint Leadership)
we went through a values exercise that was simple and effective. There
were a set of cards (each one with a value such as Achievement, Wealth,
Relationships etc.) and the process was like this:
a. Make three piles of cards. First pile with all the cards that we
think are very important, second pile with cards that matter but not as
important as the ones in the first pile, third pile with cards that
didn’t matter much to us
b. Put the third pile away
c. Revisit second pile and move the cards either to the first pile or third pile
d. Now, the first pile has a set of cards with values that mattered
most to us. Our job is to come up with five cards from this pile.

Follow whatever model that you like, but please do come up with your
own list. There is no “right” set of values. They are your values and
not knowing what they are may put you at a disadvantage.

One of my close friends has “Family” on the top of the charts and
another close friend has “Wealth” on the top. It’s very easy to guess
their decision making patterns.

What are yours?