I’ve noticed that when I’m challenged about the choices I should make, it’s a signal for me to look at the situation through the lens of my values. I was reminded again of this approach this week. My husband has been struggling with a situation, and he took a stand based on what was important to him. He said, “This does not line up with how I intend to live my life.” I respect that, and am reminded of how easy it is to fall in the trap of making a decision, or worse yet going along with something you can’t get behind, and then regreting how it doesn’t support who you are or the kind of life you want to live.
Living one’s values in the workplace is critical. If more people were clear about their values and used those as the guidepost for how they lived their life, in and out of work, engagment and job satisfaction would soar. Many companies focus on communicating the organization’s values and what the organization needs, without recognizing the impact of the individual’s personal values and needs being met at work. And because the price they pay is hard to quantify, no one recognizes the opportunity cost of lost production. The Power of Y is how I describe the xponential factor that dramatically impacts performance. Why it matters is directly tied to bringing values, vision, purpose, and mission to work.
Are there work places where value-alignment just isn’t practical? Someone recently said to me, “In a professional work environment I can see putting forth the effort as a manager, but what about in a blue collar environment, or food services, is it even realistic in those cultures?” I read a great book last year called The Dream Manager. The author told the story of janitors and how connecting them to their life dreams increased profits dramatically. In the parable, the company hired Dream Coaches to support employees in identifying what would most improve the quality of their lives. The coaches would then assist in developing a clear action plan so that the goal was attainable.
At the end of the day, no matter who we are or what we do, isn’t it about living our dreams?