Vision, Values, & Purpose: 3 Essential Tools for Navigating the Discomfort Zone Part 2
Learn How to Use Your Gear Before Launching into the Unknown
In the previous post, we discussed the importance of defining your personal vision. It’s the map by which you can achieve success in your life, especially when it comes time to conquer your Discomfort Zone. But a map won’t be of any help if you don’t have the necessary equipment for the journey.
You’ve got to have your core values and core purpose. Once you identify and then hand-craft them to meet your specific needs, you’ll be fully ready to take the first steps into the rest of your life.
What are Your Company’s Core Values?
Core values are what support the vision and shape the culture of your workplace. In our experience, far too many companies create what they think are “core values,” but they merely assemble a list of traits that reflect who they think they want to be in the future or how they want people to see them. Core values are not vision (i.e. what you aspire to be as an organization). They embody who you are today – right in this moment!
Your actual core values drive everything you do, from daily activities to long-term planning. When correctly identified, companies can successfully implement a program that make those values come alive so every employee at every level is excited to live them.
What are Your Core Values?
You should also set core values for yourself. For example, one of Anissa’s core values is “helping people be healthier.” The clearer and more deliberate you are with them, the better it will be for your personal development and the culture of your company.
By living out your values with authentic intention, only then can you show your employees your true self. This translates to becoming a more effective leader.
The journey to discover your core values is deeply intimate. You discover them only if you understand who you are on an elemental level. This requires intense soul-searching, which means digging deep to determine what types of things define who you are every day. We can give you some guidance on how to have this conversation with yourself.
A Story About Defining Core Values
Rob loves telling the story of how he discovered his six personal core values. He hopes it can serve as a positive example and launchpad for others. The process of identifying his core values started with adapting the classic exercise “Mission to Mars” developed by Jim Collins. He asked himself the following questions:
· What are the values that display a true understanding of who I am and how to act?
· What are the characteristics of those values?
· What makes them so good for me?
· What do they bring to me and others regardless of whether or not I am recognized for living them?
· Do these resonate with me?
· Are they real?
· Am I passionate about them?
While his initial list featured about a dozen values, Rob knew the final list should contain no more than a “handful” of rules. He then sat with that larger list for a few weeks determining which ones would make the core collection and best support him on his journey. Eventually, he landed on six, and they’ve been the foundation of his life ever since.
Trust is the foundation of every relationship, whether personal or professional. It’s also the foundation of your relationship with yourself.
This is the ability to speak truth to others, especially when wrapped in kindness. It’s how you can get through the most difficult conversations. It also brings freedom.
Think of this as the counterbalance to your serious side. By focusing on smiling, your face and spirit truly open up.
Since every person has inherent worth, respect does not have to be earned. Respecting someone is to honor them as a fellow human being on the journey of life. It acknowledges that each person in this world is valuable without any disclaimers or expectations.
It’s essential that you create and maintain a real connection with another human being – even if you aren’t a social person. Because, as Don Henley wrote, “It’s only in conversation that we get to the heart of the matter.”
Enthusiasm empowers different parts of life because of passion, which Rob defines as a tremendous feeling of being alive. In turn, this creates curiosity, which generates the opportunity to learn and grow.
Remember – these are Rob’s core values. Yours could be wildly different, but they need to be yours, and you need to be able to explain to yourself why they matter to you.
What is Your Company’s Core Purpose?
As the author of the iconic book Good to Great, Jim Collins has conducted extensive research into the concept of the “Core Purpose.” According to his work, it’s an organization or business’s reason for being. It goes deeper than profit and job creation to answer one specific question:
“What difference are we making in the world?”
One of Rob’s favorite company core purposes comes from Medtronics. A global multibillion-dollar company with over 80,000 employees, it’s a leader in both medical technology and the services and solutions for implementing those technologies. As a top manufacturer of pacemakers, heart valves, ventilation units, and more, it truly lives out its core purpose: “Helping Restore People’s Lives.”
What is Your Core Purpose?
Just as you need to have your own personal core values, you need to know your core purpose. To help with developing yours, we want to give you these three experiments:
1. Consider these four frameworks as you develop and craft your core purpose (adapted from Conscious Capitalism, John Mackey).
· The Good: Choosing to provide “service to others”
· The True: Searching for “truth and knowledge”
· The Beautiful: Pursuing “beauty, excellence, and quest for perfection”
· The Heroic: Embracing and acting on your “desire to change the world”
2. Reflect upon these four concepts as you shape your core purpose further (adapted from Good To Great by Jim Collins).
· Is it your higher purpose?
· Does it inspire change?
· Will it help you work around obstacles?
· Is it the difference you make in the world?
3. Refine your core purpose by answering these questions.
· Why do you exist?
· What do you devote your creative energies to?
· What difference are you making in the world?
· Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
· Why should your family, friends and coworkers care?
You then must ask “Why do I do that?” for each question, and then keep asking “Why?” Do so up to five times, each time seeking to get to a deeper level of purpose.
This is hard work. And it should be hard work. It will take time to develop a compelling purpose that you love and that honestly captures for others exactly what you do and why. But when you find it, it will make all the difference for your company and your personal growth.
What is Rob’s core purpose? To help people achieve their highest authentic self while on this planet!
Ready for talk about your core vision, values, and purpose? Contact us today for a free consultation.