How to Write your Personal Value Statement
“Do I trust you…as a coach or mentor? Are you firmly rooted and grounded in who you say you are? Are you aligned? Do your personal vision and values align with your leadership mission.”
Millennial leaders are desperately seeking authentic relationships with their leaders. Seventy-nine percent want a mentor or a coach, not a boss. They are asking, “Do I trust you?”
If the answer is yes, they will risk reaching out and building the relationship. The primary role and responsibility of leaders is to build other leaders. Yes, leaders build leaders. Therefore, leaders must have a clear understanding of who they are, and how they operate, so they can uplift the emerging leaders that are entrusted to them to coach, mentor and encourage.
What values do you embody that invite millennial leaders to trust you enough to listen to you?
What are the benefits of discovering your values?
Do you know what really matters to you? Gaining clarity on your values has several benefits:
- Values guide decisions. When we know our values, we base decisions on our own internal compasses and not on external pressures.
- Values increase confidence. When we have clear values, it’s easier to find the courage and confidence to make and stick to wiser choices.
- Values improve emotional stamina. When we meet challenges, values assist us to decipher whether or not we’re on the right path.
“Leaders need compelling and inspiring vision and values that aren’t just on the wall, but are actually lived out. Millennials want to be part of something impactful.”~ Brandon Schaefer, Five Capitals
Our values answer the question, “What really matters along the way?”
Here are 2 steps to consider as you write and live your personal values statement:
- Play the values tournament game
Write down all the words or phrases that describe the values you hold dear. Here are a few examples:
- Continuously strive toward self-improvement
- Treat all people with respect
- Always display personal integrity
- Do the right thing even when nobody is looking
- Acknowledge your strengths, but stay humble
There are many lists available on the Internet to spark ideas, so feel free to do a Google search if you get stuck. You may end up with 60 or more words! Now begin with a process of elimination. Put two values side by side, then choose one that seems more important to you or a better fit. Keep working through this process until you have narrowed it down to your top five core values. This can be a long-reflective exercise. But, it will be worth the effort.
I also go the extra mile and add a short definition of what the value means to me. For example, one of my values is “Futuristic.” Here is my personalized definition: We collaborate with visionary, strategic leaders who intentionally invest in high potential 20-Something leaders. Another one is “Character” – Excellence is based on strong spiritual and moral character. Our “being” impacts the “doing.”
Question to consider: How are the values that I embrace playing out in my daily life?
- Create a Review Rhythm
Now that you have defined your core values, how do you ensure that you are living them? You won’t change your values every week, but there may be times when it’s necessary to review them. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- I add my values list to the top of my weekly planning worksheet. I review them to ensure that I am still living on track with my values. Every week, I give myself a thumbs up or thumbs down on how I did the previous week. Then, I think through how I can embody my values in the upcoming situations, especially difficult interactions. For me, a Sunday night works best, but pick a time that is practical for you. Maybe you need an energy booster on a Monday morning before you start your workweek.
- External forces might distract us and cause us to lose focus. Take a time-out from what you do and review your values to remind you of who you are.
- A series of negative events or a prolonged period of high stress can make all of us question our purpose and the meaning of our lives. Reviewing your values keeps you firmly grounded and rooted in who you are.
Questions to consider: How did I live my values today/this week? Where did I mess up? How might I get back on track?
Almost all businesses in today’s world have a vision and values statement. As leaders, we are challenged to align our personal vision and values with our leadership mission. Commit to writing a personal values statement that you can live out in all aspects of your life and stay the course, finishing well.
I invite you to read my earlier blog post on the importance of writing your personal vision statement.
Leadership Lesson: Millennials want a leader who lives their values statement every day.
Leadership Question: How will your values enable you to be a positive change agent in the emerging leader in your life?