As an avid runner and lover of the marathon distance, I follow a number of professional marathon runners on social media. A recent post by one of my favorites, Meb Keflezighi, struck me. You don’t often see people referencing their personal values, let alone listing them. When Meb posted about his values, I was impressed, and as one of the Drive culture nerds, I sat up and thought, I should write a blog about this! ~Sheila
In this particular post, Meb was reminiscing about winning the NYC Marathon 10 years ago and how that experience showed him “how integral values are to the process of being your best self.” He credits his personal values for the success of his lengthy career including completing 26 marathons, competing and medaling in the Olympics, winning major events, and his charitable endeavors. Meb continued on to cite his personal core values as Integrity, Honor, Faith, Perseverance, and Sacrifice. He capitalized them in his post, so I kept it that way; they should be more than just little words on a page after all!
Meb is the best version of himself. He does the work he was meant to do. He is living authentically.
He owes it all to his commitment to his values.
What are personal values anyway?
The simple definition of a value is one’s judgment of what’s important in life. According to Richard Barrett of the Barrett Values Centre, the organization we use for Drive’s Culture Value Assessment, which is part of our Comprehensive Culture Analysis, “Values-based decision-making allows you to create a future that resonates deeply with who you really are. It creates the conditions that allow authenticity and integrity to flourish.”
There are people out there who are very attuned to their personal values, like Meb. They know them by name. They are guided through life by them. The decisions they make are inspired by them. Their morals and beliefs are molded by them. Sounds so…peaceful and wonderful!
Maybe Meb is just a super-mindful person? All those miles and hours alone with his thoughts must have afforded him the opportunity to think about these things, right? No! You don’t have to be a world class marathon runner to be attuned to your values. Even we mortals, just trying to slog by in the race of life, can explore and embrace what motivates us and sets the tone for our existence as individuals.
You see, your values exist, whether you recognize them or not! But life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values and draw them out to the forefront of your thoughts. When you make plans and decisions that are true to your values, awesome things happen.
If you are aware of what you value most, you will be your most authentic self.
If you value family, but you have to work 60-hour weeks in your job, will you feel internal stress and conflict? How about if you value fun, but you work in a very dull environment, will you feel restless? What about if you value making a difference, but you are too bogged down with administrative work to connect with your residents, are you likely to be satisfied with your job?
In these types of situations, understanding your values can really help. When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life.
How do personal values fit into the workplace setting?
If our values inform our thoughts, words, and actions, then our personal values have a huge impact on how we work. When an individual discovers a genuine and meaningful alignment between one’s own personal values and those of his/her employer, a powerful connection is formed. This connection opens up a world of possibilities for both personal growth and company productivity that can manifest in countless positive outcomes.
When there is not alignment between individual and organizational values, a discordant culture results and work is needed to find a better common ground. And that, right there, is Drive’s expertise! We aim to create high-functioning cultures where personal and organizational values are in sync and all team members are cohesively working together to realize the company’s mission! It’s as magnificent as winning the NYC Marathon when an organization gets it right.
How can we jump that gap to be values-minded as individuals?
First, you need to know your values. Because of our close working relationship with the Barrett Values Centre, we can offer you a free personal values assessment with them. (Link at the end of this blog.) This is just a small portion of the assessment we provide clients as part of our Comprehensive Culture Analysis.
Once you know your values, you can live them. You can do this by consistently asking yourself, “Does this decision/behavior/action reflect my value of…?” Know that as your life circumstances change, your values may change too! Reevaluating your values along the continuum will keep you at your best.
Reinforce your commitment to your personal values by talking about them. Have discussions with your family and friends about what you are doing in your life and the decisions you are making and how these entities link directly to your values. Involving your support system in this process not only solidifies your commitment to your values but can help you to be accountable…because you know your family will call you out if your actions are not in keeping with your values!
Let’s put personal values and organizational values to work.
This is where Drive comes in. We are senior living’s culture experts. Drive not only analyzes what’s going on in your culture, but we provide you a strategic plan to remedy it. We want to help bring synchronicity to your organizational culture so you can produce the outcomes you’ve always dreamed of. We can coach you through the whole process. After all, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.