By Mark Creedon
Myth-Busting Your Core Values
I sat down with mentor Nicole Hewitt Donaldson to figure out how you can bring your own
personal values into play to help you in business.
Here’s the framework of what Nicole had to say:
Every single person has their own unique set of values. They’re inherent to us, whether we think
we’ve cherry-picked them or not. What you value is a fundamental part of who you are.
Now this might not sound like anything new, but here’s the kicker – Those things you probably
consider your “values” aren’t actually the real deal.
You heard me. I know, I was blown away too. If you’re anything like me, you’ve
probably done a values exercise (if not multiple) to help you narrow in on your top 3 or 4 core
But the truth is, those things are often just social idealisms or personal traits, they’re not actually
So then what the heck are they? Nicole’s got the answer.
The concept of values is based on the ancient philosophy of axiology – the study of worth. What
we value are the things that are deeply important to us, things that deserve our time, attention,
money, etc. This all stems from what we perceive to be missing. This is why a list of values that includes things like honesty, integrity, and loyalty, isn’t really a list of values at all. It’s more like a list of ideals.
To figure out what your true values are, we need to look at what’s missing from your life. We all
have some kind of internal void. These are often the things that make us feel jealous, insecure,
lost, etc. These voids give meaning to our lives and ultimately lead to the values that we live by.
So, how do you figure out what your top 3 values are?
Nicole suggests it’s through a series of objective questions designed to stimulate specific parts of
your brain. When one part lights up, it signifies that’s something you’re passionate about,
something that resonates deeply with you. No light means it’s not actually that valuable to you.
So as insightful and magical as this all sounds, it actually all boils down to a science.
Because your brain is forever evolving, you’re always learning, your values will change over
time. So it’s important to check in with your list of top 3 every once in a while. You may be
surprised at how often they shift.
How does this all relate back to your role as a business owner?
Our values relate directly to our productivity, focus, and even mindfulness because they’re
directly linked to that internal inspiration that keeps us motivated day in and day out.
As a leader, your productivity directly translates to the productivity of your team. When you’re
running on internal inspiration instead of external motivation, your productivity skyrockets. This
is exactly what knowing your values does for you at work – it triggers your internal desire to
grow and thrive.
This is then something that can be shared with your wider team. You don’t have to work so hard
to keep your team motivated. Instead, they can become motivated by their own internal
inspirations and their own top 3 values.
Now here’s the real golden ticket: Once you and all the members of your team know your top 3
values, you can start to see where certain people line up best with others. You can start to see
how the people on your team fit together like puzzle pieces with each person bringing something
unique and essential to the table.
This ultimately enhances communication and reduces conflict, which in turn leads to better
overall morale and productivity!
Mark Creedon is the founder of Business Accelerator mastermind by Metropole and business coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs – helping them build a true business, not a job.
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