Monthly Archives: May 2012

core values

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do. ” Freya Stark

What are core values?   These are values that are important to you or the organization you work for.  These are deep-seated values that you identify with as necessary components of you or you work.   Some people value honesty, integrity,  trust,  intelligence, or a strong work ethic.   No matter what they are if they are in alignment with who you are the more satisfied you’ll be.   Your identity is wrapped up in your core values.  It is what you believe in.

How well do you know your core values?    I have found that looking at a list of over 300 values that most people find it difficult to winnow the list down to just a few values, just 3 or 4 values that are the most important to them.   With too many values it is easy to get lose focus on what is really important and identify with values that are tangential to the real you.

Why is it important to have just a few values?    You can certainly have many values that are important and without a focus on a few it leads to less intense focus on the values that are the most important.    There are probably just three to five core values that you can develop with sufficient intensity to make substantial improvements on.

Identify your values

1. Take a look at a list of values and quickly choose 10 values that you identify with

2.  Narrow the list of 10 values down to 5

3. Now choose the 3 values that you strongly identify with

What can you do to strengthen your values?

Take a look at Zappos values and how they apply those values in the work environment.

How are you living out your values?

If you are interested in finding your core values Taylor Protocols offers an assessment that will identify your strengths in four areas.    The information is useful in finding the right career and how to resolve conflicts with others.    When you know what values are being challenged in yourself you can develop strategies to reduce that conflict.

Take some time and get to know your core values today.

conviction

“Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily”
― Paulo Coelho

Conviction – a strong belief in a cause.     What are you convicted of?   What are you doing that you believe in so deeply that nothing interferes with getting the result you want.     It takes conviction to plow through difficult circumstances to achieve a noble goal.     It is a quality that not a lot of people have.     We live in  a society where things should be easy, that we should be able to obtain things easily.

What does it take to live a life with conviction?

1. Clarity on what it is you want to do.   Being crystal clear on what your purpose is, on what your goals are and how to realize those goals.   Without clarity, without focus things are blurred and confusing.    Clarity of purpose gives rise to direction.   Seeing as we are goal seeking beings and that happiness flows from achieving goals big or small means that we should focus on “being” and “doing”.

2. Competence, the ability “to do”.   Competence increases your self-esteem.  If you believe you can do it, you probably can.   It may take work and practice to develop the competence you need to get the results you want, so work on developing your skills.   What one thing can you do today to improve your skills?

3. Making it real.   What do you absolutely want to accomplish in your life?  What is stopping you?   What is holding you back from living full-out right now?  List all those reasons, yes, write them all down.   Now look at the list, is it true, is everything reason that you wrote down stopping you from living that life you want to live?

Living with conviction means that there is a way to achieve your goal even in the midst of all the stuff that happens.   It means that it is important to realize that result, whether it is a special trip, a new college degree, a new career, a better relationship or making something better in your life.   If you not convicted that life can be better for you than what will?  It’s your life not someone else’s, it is your choice and it must be your conviction to make that life real for you.

What would you do if it really mattered?

What would it take for you to be convicted to take action for a cause you believed in … you?

In this video clip you’ll learn about a person who was convicted and about another person who was convicted to make a change.   What passion, what energy, what goal can you focus on and achieve?   The one that you totally believe in and one that you are willing to make the right sacrifices to achieve.

Take a look!

determination

“When the thunder rumbles,
Now the age of gold is dead.
When the dreams we’ve clung to
Trying to stay young,
Have left us parched and old instead.
When my courage crumbles,
When I feel confused and frail,
When my spirit falters on decaying altars
And my illusions fail —
I go on right then.
I go on again.
I go on to say I will celebrate another day.
I go on.
If tomorrow tumbles
And everything I love is gone,
I will face regret all my days, and yet
I will still go on.”
    Leonard Bernstein

Determination – facing the odds and not quitting in times of difficulty.   It takes determination to do anything of value in your life.    Remember back to a time when you were determined to do something, how did feel to accomplish that goal?

For some people it means pursuing a college education, it means having the resolve to face the challenges and push through even in difficult times.   For some people is going after a vocation that they believe in.   For some people it is climbing a mountain.    Whatever the goal it takes determination to reach the objective.    Rock climbers climb with determination to reach their goal, going beyond what most people would imagine possible.

In 1914 Earnest Shackleton set sail for Antarctica with the goal of crossing the continent.    Before Shackleton and crew could set foot on land their ship Endurance was captured in ice which quickly surround the vessel.   Months later the crew abandoned the ship as the ship became overwhelmed with the pressure of the ice.   The crew survived the harsh winter on Elephant island.    Shackleton was determined to get his crew rescued and set out in a small boat with a few others and made a long trip to South George island.

When  have you been challenged beyond what you thought was possible?   What kept you going?

dropouts

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”   Vince Lombardi

In the economy or world we live in now many people have dropped out of the workforce completely.   They have stopped looking and more than likely all their unemployment benefits have run out as well.   There is a huge reservoir of unemployed people who have given up, have lost hope and the determination to find new work.   The statistics show an 8.1% unemployment rate and it doesn’t include a huge pool of people who have given up.    When all the people looking and not looking for work (though they do want to work) the unemployment rate creeps to 22.5% which is much higher than what the government reports.

What is the country losing?

If you’ve been down-sized, right-sized, or displaced share your story.   What was it like to find out your career was ending?    What would you change for the future?

What is your story?

confidence

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”   Eleanor Roosevelt

What is confidence?   It is the ability to match expectations with actual results.   If we expect with certainty that we can do something and than aren’t able to achieve that result then feedback to self is negative.   If we can do something like tie a shoe with success we become more confident that we can be achieve a result and that positive feedback reinforces our confidence.

Confidence can be increased:

1. Mastery – practicing until you have developed a demonstrated proficiency in the area you want to improve in.

2.  Contribute to the success of others – help someone else develop their skills and in most cases your skill will increase as well.

3. Encouragement – getting positive feedback from someone who has skills in the  area you want to improve.   Using positive affirmations to help bolster your belief that you can do better are useful as well.   The children’s program Bob the Builder says,  “Can we build it? Yes we can!” Can we ChaCha? Yes we can!

4. Imagery – imagine what the completed result will look like.   This is something that sports figures use to create a positive outcome by first doing the routine in the mind before actually doing the event.   Gymnasts walk-thru their routine mentally imagining each move being perfectly executed.

5. Transferral – transform fear into excitement.   The brain doesn’t interpret the difference between fear and excitement in terms of experience.   The fear sensation is the same as high excitement and people think they are experiencing fear when what they are feeling is excited.   A person who is about to speak before a large group says they are fearful and often it is excitement that they feel.

6. Physical management – manage the tension in your muscles and relax rather than get more tense as you are about to do something new.   Confidence comes with repeated success and with that people can relax.   Performing in big events, sports, appearing in front of large audiences can for the first time create physical sensations that decrease performance.  Practice the mental imagery of success to bring down the tension of that big performance.

Confidence is often tested in big events, like Mountain Biking downhill at high speeds.   The skill it takes to go full on and full-out on technically difficult courses requires a high degree of confidence.

Would you be willing to try a high-speed descent on two wheels?

begin

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”  Albert Camus

Begin!  That is all it takes to start something is to begin and yet far too many people put of that very task of getting started.     How many things have you put off waiting for tomorrow, the day that never comes.

Personal happiness, even professional happiness is tied directly to the actions you take not to the actions you don’t take.   Happiness isn’t something that comes to you as a result, happiness comes to you when you do something that you believe is useful.

Leadership expert John Maxwell suggests that we look at four things as that can result in having a happier life.

1. Create and nurture relationships.    People are meant to engage with other people.  Learning how to develop, grow and value relationships.

2. Make decisions.   Making decisions that support who you are and your strengths that are based on sound reasoning will improve outcomes in your life.  It takes discipline and practice to make good decisions.

3. Continual growth.   What are you doing to continually improve upon “who” you are.   That could mean additional education and skills or it could mean doing something that allows you to grow as a person, or it could be learning from the lessons of life.  Take time to reflect on each day and evaluate what you learned.

4. Adding value.   How can you add value to others?   Instead of looking at what you can get ask yourself what you can give.    Shift the equation around, how can I add value to others?   What can I bring to someone else in terms of value?   When you look at the personal development industry you’ll see countless experts giving away information, time and value, so that others can grow and develop.

What does it take to get started?    What does it take to go from waiting to beginning to make a difference?   It takes you taking action.   Stop waiting for tomorrow and start DOING today.

1. Who can you develop a stronger relationship with TODAY?

2. What decision are you holding off making?   What is stopping you from making that decision?

3. What can you do now to improve your personal or professional growth?

4. Who can you add value to?    Shift from “I” to “you”.   What can you do?

Years ago there was a movie about the continual bad news that was heard, news that help people captive to inaction, to being a victim of the circumstances rather than an owner of the solution.   The movie was  “NETWORK” and the newscaster asked people to get up and yell …    It’s time to begin and take action.

Alignment

“Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and it is secondary. Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet – because it is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence. Your outer purpose can change over time. It varies greatly from person to person. Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose. It is the basis for true success. Without that alignment, you can still achieve certain things through effort, struggle, determination, and sheer hard work or cunning. But there is no joy in such endeavor, and it invariably ends in some form of suffering.”  Eckhart Tolle

As a coach who works a wide variety of people it is important that the client knows “who” they are.   In many cases they have an idea of who they are that has been shaped by external influences and over time their belief about “who” they are is merely a mask of their real self.    People take assessments to help define better who they are (MBTI, DISC, …) and while those assessments provide value they are often reflections of what other people have declared them to be.   Even 360 degree assessment fail to provide the truth about “who” a person really is.  

 

What happens when people don’t know “who” they are is that they fight against themselves in many cases in terms of career choice, conflicts, learning styles, and working with others.   If people knew “who” they were naturally they would experience greater career, relational, and personal success and fulfillment.   The very things people are looking for are obscured by not knowing who they are.

Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” writes,  “You can’t manufacture passion or “motivate” people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you.”     Research indicates that only about 28% of people in their work love what they do.    That means that 72% of the workforce is doing work they don’t really like to do.  Companies spend billions of dollars training and trying to get people to fit their roles and can’t.   When people are not in alignment with “who” they are and what they do they will attempt to mold the job to their core values and ultimately the both the employee and organization suffer.  

For organizations getting the right people in the right seat would make a huge contribution to the bottom line and increase employee satisfaction.    Imagine if you knew what your core values were so that you could find a job that aligns with your strengths and abilities.    Taylor Protocols is one such company that knows how to get the right people in the right seat.     Their “Core Value Index” reliably shows what matters most to people and when they know their core values they are able to:

1. Find out what career is a good fit.

2. Find out how to manage conflict.

3. Find out what creates conflict in their life.

4. Find out their best learning style.

5. Find out how they can make their biggest contribution.

When people are in alignment with “who” they are their level of fulfillment increases, their productivity increase and life gets better.   That is what many people want, a better life and yet they struggle with daily fighting against “who” they truly are.    The CVI is something that can be purchased and the results can be used to fashion a purpose filled life.   It is worth the few dollars to find out what really works in your life.   It is far cheaper than therapy or counseling that often takes place after one has fought against their natural values for years.

Do you know “who” you are?    Are you living with your “values” or against them?

Here’s a short clip about the value of the CVI.