They are things that you can be passionate about, that give you focus and will keep you on the “right lines”. Although circumstances may change, these things won’t change with the circumstances. They are not temporary. They won’t be compromised. They are not up for negotiation. They are the things that get you up early and propel you forward. They are your Vision, Goals and Values.
Your Vision is big, audacious, aspirational and inspiring. You can see it in your mind’s eye. You can imagine it. Yes, it may be ringed in fluffy clouds, but it is still very real. You want to get your hands on it, but that won’t be for some time. Maybe it will always be just slightly out of your reach, but as sure as heck, it won’t be for the want of trying. Ultimately, it is why you started the journey.
Your Goals are also big, audacious, aspirational, inspiring. But they are very tangible, practical. They have a pointy end, and are definitely not fluffy. You can measure them. You can chart your progress to them. They are the trophies and cups – it is party time for the team when you win and moody silence when you fall short.
Your Values are the constant. They were the same yesterday, the same today and will be the same tomorrow. They help you join up where you are to where you want to be. They provide a continuum. They have a gravitational pull. This is not imagination or a spreadsheet of data; it is DNA stuff. It is what you, hopefully, share with everybody else in the boat.
I have become increasingly aware that although Vision, Goals and Values each have a massive part to play to keep you on the right route, there is one that is head and shoulders above the others. It is the one you can’t do without. It is the one that is most common throughout all your roles. Values trump Vision and Goals.
Your Values are your “Golden Rules”. They are the things that can give you direction and meaning in life. They are core to you and DNA-like. Examples can vary hugely such as “Relationships come first”….”I hate waste”…”You can’t trust anybody”…”Be totally reliable”….”Cash is king”…..”Speak the truth”….”Always deliver my best”…”Don’t worry, I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Curiously, you may not have worked out what they are. Alternatively, maybe they might have been ignored or have lost their sheen. It is also possible that some intruder values need to be ditched. Be clear about them and they can help you to stay on track.
Give some time to clarify your top three Values or Golden Rules.
This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book – “Leaders’ Map”. It would be great to get your feedback, so please do share your comments here or on Twitter or LinkedIn.
You may also want to check out the Leaders’ Map App which is now available on the Apple App Store.