Discovering your key values requires reflection. Some values are found in others whom you respect. Others values are what you hope other people will see in you.
My five key values would be: integrity, compassion, loyalty, commitment, and self-care. “Self-Care” is a new key value for me as a result of recent experience. I always respected my dad for his long hours of work and sacrifice without complaint. As a result, I tend to be a workaholic, skip lunch (or eat poorly), sleep little, and have no personal time. The end result was spending my year end vacation with serous pneumonia (the result of not taking care of myself). I realized how much I had neglected my health (and self for that matter) and that I did not want to leave my kids and wife early in life (to quote Curly of the Three Stooges: "I don't wanna be dead! There's no future in it!"
During my bedridden time last year, I saw “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, a fascinating documentary following Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Tokyo. Jiro had one quote: “In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. The quality of ingredients is important, but one must develop a palate capable of discerning good and bad. Without good taste, you can’t make good food. If your sense of taste is lower than that of the customers how will you impress them?” I realized how profound that statement was – and that is how “Self-Care” became a key value.
An organization should also have key values. My company, Instron ITW, has five key values and behaviors which we act accordingly to. Zappos, widely recognized for their customer service and workplace, calls them “core values”.
Zappos Family Core Values are:
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More With Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble
So discover your values. They will provide you with the purpose and motivation to change and grow, as well as provide guidance on how to behave and lead. Define what most matters in your life and what matters most will define you.