If you understood something that would help you drive your firm’s success, of course you would be interested. Values is a phrase that gets bandied around in business, sometimes without a clear rationale. So, what are values and how could you use them?
What are values?
Your values are underlying principles in the way you live and work, helping determine your priorities, how you react and, deep down, how you judge your life. They drive how you behave, and how your team behave.
Understanding your values can be powerful as behaviours are normally driven by values; even if you are not consciously aware of that value. Many people have no conscious awareness of their values and are doing things because they ‘want to’ but without knowing ‘why’.
Understanding your values can help you
When you know your answer to “what are values” you can start to
- Be in more control of your actions (and emotions).
- Plan, make decisions and be more productive.
- Recognise what you need to do to feel good.
- Have a range of different ways of fulfilling your values, not just doing the same old things as before.
- Create a firm which is going to fulfill your values – hence making you happy and more productive. This is what should be at the heart of the vision for your firm.
What have values got to do with business?
Have you ever felt fantastic, creative and able to jump buildings in a single stride? That feeling can really power you through your day, making it productive, profitable and it’s infectious. Others around you (prospects, clients etc) can pick up on it and love it. Very often this is because you, your behaviour and the work you’re doing are all aligned with your values.
When there is no alignment between your work and your values things feel wrong, causing stress and unhappiness to rise; motivation and productivity will then start to drop. It’s harder to sell, influence your team or do anything useful.
Alignment between your work and your values is good for your firm.
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Where do my values come from?
Your values are formed over the years, from childhood. You can’t simply choose to remove, or ignore them. By understanding them you may be able to choose to emphasise some and not others. Knowing this can help you to understand why you think about different things and feel comfortable (or not) about certain decisions.
Your decisions talk about your values.
The way you do things often shows your values
- How you hire and fire
- How you interact with your competitor
- Why you have a natural tendency to market your services in one way and not others
- Your decisions say something about your values. Look at the decisions you’ve made, are there commons themes?
What does your definition of success say about your values?
Some people value money above everything (or so it may seem to others), they will typically measure their employees success purely on profitability and bottom line results.
The opposite of that definition of success could be a professional who defines success as having a positive impact on their employees, or client’s lives; success in that firm will be defined differently.
Your definition of success and your values are interwoven.
Knowing your values is a key part of building a successful firm, which will satisfy you mentally and financially. In that way values are an important part of the vision for your firm
Download our guides on values, vision, planning and strategy for your firm, it's free and waiting for you to download right now. Click here for instant access (email address required).
Have your thought for you ‘what are values’ and how do they help make you more productive?