Your Values & Boundaries
A leadership team I work with recently experienced an issue that tested their resolve and boundaries. It required not only activating their organizational values, but legal action. As the challenge unfolded, we talked about how, when stakes are high, their values mattered.
I think a lot about the relationship between core values and the value brands provide customers. Core values without courage can be posturing. But courage without core values can lead to power grabbing. I try to live in the intersection of courage and values. I try to build a life there. I serve companies and their leaders there.
It’s easy to profess our values when times are good or easy. But, when our boundaries are pushed or challenged, our values are called to task.
Regardless of what our values are, there are two meta skills that we need in order to live our values: courage and awareness.
Values Activation Meta Skills
Courage is the ability to step up into living our values when they’re tested. Courage helps us hold our values.
Awareness is the ability to know when we need to conjure our courage, kindness, or vulnerability. Awareness helps us know when and where our values are tested.
In order for organizations to thrive, they need to bridge their values with courage. In order for teams to know when their values are being tested they need to cultivate awareness.
In my work with organizations, I’ve noticed that teams don’t rise to their highest goals, instead they fall back into their most broken systems. This is a hard truth to say and hear. And, it’s especially revealing during pressure-filled times. The remedy for this is to build courage, trust, and awareness systems that are tethered to values and work when the pressure is on.
Applying the Meta Skills
Brené Brown notes in her brilliant book Daring Greatly that “Skill sets to courage are trust, values, vulnerability, and resilience.” She adds, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Sometimes the greatest acts of courage are the resilience to pull yourself up and dust yourself off, after a difficult time.
Sometimes the greatest acts of courage are to be vulnerable in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.
Sometimes the greatest acts of courage are to be willing to trust yourself, your intuitive guidance, and others during challenging times.
Courage and awareness are what’s required to see our values come to life when they’re tested by the sometimes overwhelming obstacles of doing purpose-oriented work.
Shaping a life and a business isn’t easy. It looks a lot like showing up and holding boundaries when outcomes are unclear.
If you trade your business or life values for the status quo, you give away very valuable thing: the true you, which is you at your best.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.