What Are Your Values?

A recent conversation with a colleague stayed with me and prompted the following thoughts. We were discussing his place of employment and he remarked, “My boss only cares about one thing—the bottom line.” I asked if the company had any formal values statement that reflected the vision or mission of the organization. “Are you kidding me?” he replied, “And if they do, they sure aren’t sharing it with the employees.”

So, I thought I would ask the question: Does your organization have a statement or document that identifies its core values?

If the answer is yes, I am pleased and trust their presence guides the principles and practices of your company. On the other hand, if your company does not, perhaps you are in a position to undertake such an effort. Identifying core values is not necessarily easy, quick or something you should do by yourself, but if your employment position does not grant such authority, consider making a proposal to those who do.

Here’s a selling point made by Roy Disney: “It’s not hard to make company decisions, once you know what your values are.” Corporate values should always be “in play,” be referenced in our conversations, shape the development of our goals, guide our interpersonal relationships and speak to what we care about the most as an organization.

Leadership is, in fact, about the practice of values whether with people, standards of excellence, income, expense or company growth.

If you are looking for guidance in this area, check out Patrick Lencioni’s article, “Make Your Values Mean Something” (Harvard Business Review, 2002). Yes, I know it’s old, but it is still excellent and worth reading.




Proverbs 13:20 (NLT)


Walk with the wise and become wise,
associate with fools and get in trouble.



Can't Not Do

Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow: 12 Simple Principles

Karen Casey, Conari Press, 2008

This month’s’ book recommendation comes by way of a friend who gave it to me as she knew I was interested in optimism, mindfulness and the teaching of life lessons. It’s entitled Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow and was written in 2008 by Karen Casey, Ph.D. She is a well-known author and conference speaker.

The book is very practical and offers twelve helpful insights and principles with respect to living a calmer and more fulfilling life within a spiritual context.

The book begins with the author sharing many of the challenges of her youth and adulthood, from the troubled nature of her parents’ relationship, her fears and anxieties, her “self-wanderings” and finally her addiction and alcoholism.

Casey’s premise is that we can live better lives if we choose to do so and part of the secret in achieving this is listening to our inner voice of wisdom.

I enjoyed the chapter “Let Go of Outcomes.” How many of us are preoccupied with the goal of achieving results? So often on this journey we forget what we can’t control and the author reminds us that we are never in full control of any situation. It is her belief that the effort we put in any plan or action is the key variable. That’s what we own.

Another guiding principle described in the book is “Choose to Act Rather Than React” characterized by the following insight: “Why should we let other people decide what kind of day we are going to have?” Said another way, we must not let our self-esteem and self-worth be dependent upon the opinion of others.

Perspective is an important dynamic to Casey and she offers the benefits of adopting and practicing the “peaceful response” to all of life’s circumstances, including our interpersonal relationships. Being peaceful is of greater benefit than being right. Peace results from having loving thoughts and committing ourselves to kind and caring actions.

If you are curious about curiosity this book is for you.

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