Wednesday , July 16, 2014 - 5:18 PM
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.“ -Thomas Jefferson
A value is a principle or quality intrinsically of worth or desirable to us. Values are personal. They are our convictions, our beliefs, and our ethics all rolled into one. When we value success over our values, we can lose both.
Even if we don’t realize it, most of us have a set of values that we live by. These values are generally embedded into our subconscious through our family, church and society. They can also be practiced consciously till they become a part of us.
We are what our values are. They are the foundation of our personality and our character. Successful people attach a lot of value to their values because other success principles aren’t empowering or fulfilling without them.
There is real power in clearly identifying and articulating your core values, and making them a prominent behavior driver, in your business, career and in your personal life.
Look behind most truly successful people and you will see a set of values that have stood the test of time. Here are seven core values that you may consider:
1. The Value of Accountability. Successful people take responsibility for their actions. For most people, blaming others is a subconscious mechanism for avoiding accountability. However, continuously lying to yourself and others can be a downhill slope. Blaming others, claiming victimhood, or passing the buck may solve short-term crises, but refusal to take responsibility erodes respect and cohesion in any family, group or organization. When you are accountable, people will trust and believe in you. When you take ownership for yesterday, a better future will manifest itself.
2. The Value of Commitment. Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the resources to turn our dream into reality. There are a lot of people who in spite of having dreams never really make it because of lack of commitment. Commitment is a promise that you make to yourself that you will do what you have decided, whatever it takes. It is the first step toward becoming accountable. Commitment provides the drive that compels you forward and keeps you going in the face of adversities.
3. The Value of Loyalty. Lack of loyalty is one of the biggest causes of failure in every walk of life. Loyalty goes hand in hand with accountability and commitment. It is a give and take world. You cannot expect loyalty if you yourself are not loyal. Customers are loyal to the salesmen who are loyal to their customers. Employees are loyal to the organization whose management is loyal to them. Family members are loyal to each other. Loyalty begets loyalty.
4. The Value of Integrity. In today’s world integrity seems to take a back seat. It is important to make it your ally. With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. Integrity connotes strength and stability. It means taking the high road by practicing the highest ethical standards. Demonstrating integrity shows completeness and soundness in your character and in your organization. When you are honest, people naturally trust you, and will want to follow you.
5. The Value of Discipline. Having no discipline is the reason for the failure of many people on this planet. Self-discipline is the ability to take action regardless of your emotional state. Nothing is ever accomplished by good intentions. It is only by using self-discipline that you will be able to overcome procrastination, and achieve your goals. Self-discipline is like muscle training. The more you practice the stronger you become.
6. The Value of Excellence. Excellence is an art that is achieved through habitual quality work. Quality should be more than making the best product; it should extend to every aspect of your work and life. A person who recognizes quality and strives for it daily has a profound sense of self-respect, pride in accomplishment, and attentiveness that affects everything and everyone. All that you say and do should communicate professionalism and quality.
7. The Value of Courage. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. It requires courage to strive for excellence. It takes courage to make commitments and be accountable. It requires courage to maintain integrity when the entire world seems to be against it. It takes courage to be loyal when it would be easier not to be. It takes courage to believe in your dreams and take positive actions to fulfill them when the world is scoffing at you.
As you can see, each of these core values is important by itself, but working together they can make anything possible. Analyze your core values and let them drive your behavior and decisions without compromise.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from northern Utah. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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