Living Your Values
A great root structure
I don’t know about you, but I love standing under a big tree. It holds up an enormous amount of weight, a fantastic structure above us – many, many tonnes, and just thriving. Beautiful glossy green leaves, an enormous trunk, in the peak of its health.
Where does all that come from? What does the tree need in order to have that large trunk, in order to thrive in this way? Of course, what it needs is a great root structure.
When we think about the parallel for this in business, it seems to me that the root structure or the fundamentals from which a great business can grow are values.
You could think of values as the nutrients which feed people. They are the rules, the boundaries, and the ways of being that we set (and we set all the time in life) that define how we perform.
All businesses have values
The aim of any business, of course, is to agree on a set of values to hold each other accountable to that will create an environment which will promote, encourage, and enhance peak performance.
Now, all businesses have values. If you think you haven’t got them, think again.
In many businesses the values are unspoken. Other businesses have a pretty card on the wall with a number of words, and they get spoken about maybe once or twice a year. They have values as well, but one of their values is, in a sense, not to honour the values.
Organisations which thrive, which have a culture and a team – a group of people that really work beautifully together, getting the best out of each other, coming up with ideas, being great with clients, inspiring each other – they have values that they all understand, all agree on, and hold each other accountable to. They reward each other. They pick each other up when they’re not doing the right thing. These values are the roots, the foundations, the nutrients that build a great business.
My question for you is…
So, I guess my question for you is ‘What values have you got, what have you articulated, what do they mean, and has everyone bought into them?’
And then ‘How do you make sure you hold each other to account? How do you make sure your values are real in your business?’
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The Gift – Autobiography of a Yogi
This spiritual classic has sold over four million copies, and been translated into 33 languages. In 1999, it was designated as one of the “100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century” by a panel of theologians and luminaries convened by HarperCollins publishers. It has inspired the likes of Steve Jobs, who “first read [it] as a teenager, then re-read [it] in India and had read [it] once a year ever since.”
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