A new decade brings reflection and new optimism for living authentically, making a real difference in this world, and discovering real purpose.
There’s something special about a new year (and especially a new decade) that inspires people to take action – all in the name of purpose, and I’m all for it, provided there is a solid action plan to make it happen and it’s sustainable, not a momentary burst of enthusiasm.
What many people don’t know is that your purpose is fundamentally linked with values – you can’t truly know your purpose unless you define your values. By knowing your values, you’ll know what makes you truly excited and fulfilled at the end of the day. It makes you prioritise what is ‘important’, rather than just what is ‘urgent’.
Your purpose may be as simple as living and belonging with people who share those values, or it could be driving those values into others or the world.
You may have varying levels of a whole bunch of values, but what are your top values? Think about it, what values drive you to be the best version of yourself and the best leader for your business? What values do you try to instil in your children, or your team? What values make you jump out of bed in the morning, ready to kick goals and take on a new challenge?
This is about you as a human being and what matters most to you. Don’t get me wrong, the process to work out your values does take some time and may not happen overnight, it’s not easy! But don’t worry, it’s totally worth it. Once you know your values, everything will make more sense, and you’ll be able to nail your purpose!
So how do you define your values? Over the years, I have created some really great exercises to define your values:
- Get a list of value driven words (there are plenty if you Google!) and circle the ones that you think define you
- Think about a great experience where your actions were great, and it made you really proud – why did it make you proud?
- Next, think of an experience where the situation was terrible and you or the other person acted poorly – what would you have liked them to do, or what could you have done better?
- Think about those two situations in relation to the list. If they’re important enough for you, the words that define what matters to you most should be clearer. Trust me, it’s hard to define to two, but try it!
If you already know what you’re about and can put those values into the context of what you do and how you do it, every action should be held against those values. Does this fit into what I value and believe, and is my action living up to that? It makes difficult choices easier, and it takes away that malalignment with things that make you feel uneasy.
On the flip side, if your job does not align with these values – get another one. I have worked in an organisation that went against my values, but it paid handsomely, and it is my life’s biggest regret.
If you’re looking to discover your ‘why’ – your true purpose and values as a leader, join us for the upcoming Authentic Leadership Summit in Sydney from the 17-20 March 2020. Back for its 5th year, keynote speakers include, Ita Buttrose, Larry Marshall, Tim Kelsey and Mike Baird to name a few. Early bird pricing is available only until the 14th February 2020 – book now.