What is going on with you? Seriously. Why haven’t you started taking action on those big goals for this year yet?
Here are four words to write down: bullshit, bullshit, and bullshit.
You say you want a lot of new and big changes to happen and then there you are stuck on the big hamster wheel of life running as fast as you can every single day...and getting nowhere.
Would you like to stop that? Since I can’t see your face, I’m going to go out on a limb and imagine you’re nodding your head yes.
To get this journey started, you’ll need to go back to a step many forget in their quest for a budding restaurant and bar empire...you gotta know what you stand for. Oh yes, we’re talking about that main ingredient to all culture recipes: Core Values.
When you are building a house the first and often most critical step is the foundation. You’ll find it hard to build a massive structure on top of a weak foundation. Well, you can, just be ready for when it all comes crashing to the ground. Core values are required if you want to:
Core values are much more than a list of bullshit words you pick out to plaster upon the employee billboard in their break area. Core values must be lived through the words and actions of the owners & leaders. That second part (action) is the number one challenge hurdle for many owners and management. You see, people can sniff out insincerity rather quickly. It’s sad that hypocrisy runs rampant in this industry.
It’s time to step up and do what real leaders do and that is lead with integrity.
Integrity is not a part-time word to be taken lightly. It’s a game-changer for those that make the leap from manager to leader. When you make a total commitment to living in integrity you throw out the possibility of hypocrisy. You speak and act in congruency even when no one else is watching or notices. Integrity at its core is acting in accordance with your true self or identity.
The sad part is so many sell out their integrity for a paycheck or because it’s the path of least resistance. The really sad thing is how cheaply most sell their integrity for! Once you’ve done it, it’ll be extremely difficult to get it back. Not saying it can’t be done, however, it will be a massive uphill battle.
When you are looking at words that can become your core values, it a lot like going to a buffet on a cruise ship...they are so many things that look good that you try to have it all. Gluttony is not attractive when you are strolling through a buffet and it is not effective when selecting your core values. When you are selecting your core values, go for quality over quantity. You want core values that resonate with your heart.
Because when it comes to things that matter from your heart you will fight tooth and nail to protect them. Your core values must be aligned with who you are at your core! Perhaps that is why they are called “core values”?
Fair warning: when you start writing your values down you have quite a few “nice ones” that you think should be on the list. Who doesn’t like the word honesty? However, if we are going, to be honest, can you say that you are always honest? Now you might (a big might) be able, to be honest with others. The deeper question is are you honest with yourself all the time? If you’re honest about that then there is hope for you.
Down at the foundation of living my own core values is a simple, yet powerful process. You must write them down! There is just something about the art of writing things down that wires it to your subconscious. Write down those essential core values that are who you are. They must be words that live inside you. Post that list where you can see it constantly as a reminder of who you truly are. Yes, life is going to throw curveballs at you and try to pull you off track. Your core values become a compass to always return to your true self.
Don’t underestimate the power of having a list and referring to it. As I said, it’s simple and very effective. Your brain is wired to look for clues on how to be in the world. You probably once had a very clear vision of who you were and what your wanted to be when you were a kid. You wanted to drive an ice cream truck, an astronaut, or maybe both and drive an ice cream truck in outer space! Then some disgruntled adults told you to be “realistic” and you stopped being you and started to become someone else. Can you even remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?
Uncovering your core values is the first step to getting back to you. They are your moral compass to what is important to you. Sadly, the vast majority of people have no clue what their core values are and they become persuaded and manipulated easily. If you don’t know what your stand for, you’ll fall for anything that sounds convincing. There is a sucker born every minute who doesn’t stand up for what they believe in.
Start with a blank piece of paper (this doesn’t need to be complicated) and start writing down keywords that could make your final core values list. Most people need to get around 40-50 words to start. Once you have the first draft, take a look over it and then then it be for a day. The following day, get a highlighter and start highlighting the worlds that have a little more punch behind them. Those that resonate with your heart. You should have a list of about half of where you started so 20-25. On day three pull the list out again and now look at the highlighted one more time. Now go through the list and identify the ones you just could not live without! You should finally end up with 5-10. These are now your core values.
One of mine is the word respect. I cannot imagine living day to day without it in both my personal and professional lives. It also means to me to respect myself! Core values are like a code in which you promise yourself to live your life. Respect starts with self-respect. Love starts with self-love. Confidence starts with self-confidence.
Make that list of your core values and honor them.
Do not compromise them.
Do not neglect them.
Serve them well and they will in return serve you well. Hold your core values list close and protect it. Otherwise, you be running down the street asking for advice or directions that if you knew your core values would be already answered for you.
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