Bill Montgomery once said that one of the most important things in life is to decide what is the most important thing? That is sound advice. How many people really do that or take the time to give their values any thought? Many of the difficulties we face in life and inner stress we encounter is because we have not taken the time to decide what is really important to us and what we value. Therefore, we do not know what our values are and our behavior reflects that.
As a life coach I constantly remind my clients to honor their values in the decision making process. Why? I believe that values are like a road map. Our values provide the structure, direction and even security that we need to live a life that is in sync with who we really are and what we want to be in this life. They provide the basis for knowing what to say yes to and what to say no to. They also become a guide that we can refer to over and over again when we have to make the really tough choices and decisions of life. In fact, I would have to say that the difference between living a mediocre life and an exceptional life is one that is principle driven or value driven.
The same concept applies for leadership as well. I believe the difference between leadership that is mediocre and exceptional has a lot to do with values or the lack of them. How many times have we seen leaders come and go because they lacked integrity or honesty? A leader who is value driven does not worry about opinion or get swept up with their own emotions, fears, anxieties or public opinion. When the rubber meets the road and tough decisions have to be made, a person that is value driven will make decisions out of their core values. In other words, a higher principle kicks in than group pressure or the immediacy of the situation. Therefore, an effective leader can make decisions quickly and decisively because they are value or principle driven. Those values become the basis for their decisions time and after time.
So thank you, Bill. I believe you have it right! The most important thing to success in life and leadership is to decide what really is the most important thing? What about you? How does your life and leadership reflect and honor the things that matter the most to you- your most basic core values?