"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."
Mark Twain

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 468

Estimated reading time:   3:20

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3pE0MmGIhM 


Greetings from the Sunshine Coast of BC, where a Pacific front is dropping much rain. Spring is coming, but I am glad of the roaring fire.


I’m thrilled to have been invited into a fascinating project exploring Canadian Values. http://canadianvaluesconversations.com  i invite you to take the survey, it is quite fascinating. We’ll also be having one of a series of Values Cafes in Vancouver. (If you live in the Lower Mainland and would like to attend, please complete the survey, and register for the Cafe on May 1st here. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/vancouver-values-cafe-tickets-44147653821 


And even if you are not in this part of the world, getting clear about your values is a vital part of becoming a better leader. Values though, are often given short shrift. All too often we think they are really simply  ‘check the box, I’ve done my values, let’s get on with the good stuff!’ 


Values drive behaviour and therefore are the skeleton around which culture is built.  So, we need to be very clear for ourselves and for our organizations what we value. And here is where it gets tricky; values do shift as we grow. I recall some years ago doing a session on values and suggesting that young people need to do some exploring on their own to get clear about their own values. A parent in the room took offence arguing that he had ‘spent much of his time as a parent instilling certain values in his children and by heaven they were going to keep those values!’


Part of our development as humans is to uncover and shine our own values. I was certainly influenced by may parents who modelled love, hard work, and independent thinking, but how those manifested in me, and how they mapped to my values of love, forgiveness and learning, well, that was up to me. 


Values can be shifted by heartbreak, serious illness and family break up. And they should also shift as we mature. What is important to me as a wise elder (perhaps, one day) may well be different from what was important to me as a young man. What is important to me as grandparent is different from what was important to me when I was single. 


Do some reflection every 7 - 10 years about your values, or after a significant change in your life. How have your values changed? What is the impact on you when they do change, and what is the impact on the team you lead? Remember, the key is that we all need to be growing and learning, becoming the person we are called to be.