Living Your Values: Achieving Your Purpose

By March 14, 2017Articles

Your personal values are what give credence to what you say. They show your true intent. Your values, more than anything else, show the choices you have made about who you want to be and how you want to travel this journey.  Most tellingly, your values are proven daily in your actions far more than in your words.

No longer surprisingly, but nonetheless, I often find that folks try to tell themselves they have 2 sets of values – 2 ways of life, because they believe that they are one way at work and another way at home. The truth is, however, you are who you are everywhere you go. Values are what lead you, what outwardly define you, and how you walk in the world. If you value competitiveness and winning above all else, that will be demonstrated no matter where you are.

If you value your intuitive nature, your inner-knowing, and your connection to a Divine presence, you will see yourself in this world in a particular way whether in your personal or professional relationships. If you value integrity, respect, honesty, and the connection of all beings, you will approach life and all your relationships with compassion, generosity, and empathy. A wonderful result of this choice is that you are more at peace with yourself as a constant not just after a win.

As a leader, your values define your leadership and they greatly impact the success of your business. If you choose integrity you will work hard for what you earn based on a mutually respectful relationship with your clients. In addition, you will treat your employees fairly expecting a full days’ work for a fair pay.  It is also because of this mutual respect and appreciation that your employees or vendors will go the extra mile for you.

Since all of us want to be seen, having that as an acclaimed value impacts how you treat everyone in your life. That is powerful and in a professional setting it results in a productive, invested team because they feel appreciated and significant. Honestly sharing your dream and vision for your company or your department will come to be what inspires your team to work with you, frequently making it their dream as well. More and more we read that for millennials, this is imperative if they are to remain with your company. Touching the heart of someone calls them to connect far more than simply connecting with their head. It is where their commitment to you comes from. How much do you value or are you willing to work for that level of connection?

Most importantly, as a leader, it is in living your beliefs that you will influence the others. Conversely, your values, as shown in your actions, can also cause your peers and/or employees to sabotage you or to avoid dealing with you as well as your dictates and your needs. Consequently, it is imperative that you be attuned to what values you honestly possess and whether or not you are living those values that bring out your most productive mode of leadership. It is the only way to guarantee that your actions match your words giving you the credibility you so need in a world where effective and ethical leaders are a gift although they are a priority for workers.

Whatever archetype most clearly defines the style of your leadership, it is your values that will demonstrate whether you have chosen to live in the strengths or the vulnerabilities and fears of that style. Accept that when you are in fear, you will fall into the vulnerabilities of your archetype but whether you stay there momentarily or for months depends upon the choices and the value you place on your level of self-understanding, balance, and compassion.

Most definitely, you are not your fears or your behavior; ever, and when you are in defense you are simply acting out past learned reactionary behavior. Your developed Emotional Intelligence allows you to recognize that and integrate your current wisdom in all situations as a way of life. Thankfully, it’s never too late and the truth is your values support your full transformation into the person you choose to be and the life purpose you are here to accomplish. Being truthful to yourself in word and deed is the starting point.

As an example:

  • You cannot profess to want team work and then ignore others when they offer suggestions
  • You cannot speak of a shared vision when no one knows where you are going
  • You cannot expect to be respected when you never show respect toward others.

If motivation is your guide, you will frequently be offering your people incentives whether free meals, vacations days, raises, or promotions.  If your value is in inspiration, you will be calling them and inspiring them to become more and more of who they are capable of being. They will begin to see their unlimited potential and thus a grateful team develops in which you all have the same inspiration and shared passion. As I stated before the millennials are demanding this.

Accept that your value-led leadership gives you great power and influence, yet only if you are ready and willing to own it. Focused, constructive power becomes the force which creates the team which shows that the maxim “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is true. The mutual trust, respect, and deep connection becomes a powerful force within your organization no matter how big or small. Because these traits represent your key values in life and in business, you truly are also continuously taking your leadership to another level in a clear and balanced way.

We know change is needed in the leadership of our world culture, our national culture, within our companies, and even our homes. That leadership change must now begin with each one of us.

We are called to love, live our lives, and to consciously develop this life we are creating.

I believe we can do it all, one risk, one value, one dream, and one leadership decision at a time.

Self-Reflections on your Values: 

  1. Do you live your authentic values?
  2. Have you even defined for yourself what they are?
  3. What, if any, is your greatest struggle in living your values in a world that may be so different?

I’d love to hear what you think and support you in achieving your purpose. Contact me at Dorothy@askdrdorothy.com or call (860) 543-5629.

About Dorothy

Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.