It is important that we live by our values, because if we are feeling disconnected, potentially we are not living up to the values we hold for ourselves. If you value your family, and yet you are working 60 hours per week, then your actions are not living up to your values and you may feel disconnected. If you do not value competitiveness and yet you work in a very competitive environment, then you may feel out of place.
So, it live true to ourselves, it is important that we actually know and can articulate our values. Once we know our values, we can set our goals based on our values.
The 5 values that shape what I do include:
I truly value continued growth and education. I have devoured as much formally education as I can, in the past, and now I am doing a lot of learning around business, marketing, leadership, and self-development. I truly believe that if we are not growing, we are dying. So continued growth and improvement is a deep value of mine that I live by, both personally and also in business.
Accountability is another deep value that I hold true for myself, and expect in others. I am disappointed by others when they do not have a strong work ethic and are accountable for what they do, and the mistakes they make. I hold myself to a very high standard, and am the one to berate myself most if I get anything wrong, and I absolutely believe that the ‘buck stops with me’. Even if I have delegated a task to someone else in my business, if something goes wrong, ultimately I am accountable and responsible at the end of the day, as the owner.
Being competent goes almost hand in hand with how I value accountability. A pet hate of mine in incompetent in other professionals. Often, though, I will put a lack of care down to incompetence. Not having work ethic and caring enough about your work or your clients to get things right is a form of incompetence to me. Therefore, for me competence goes further than just knowing how to do your job, if means doing it well, and this is what I absolutely live by.
It’s a bit of a cliche, but my word also counts for something. I value a promise, and a value trusting someone when they promise to do something. When I make a promise, I will do what I say I’m doing to do. Not only do I not want to let anyone down, but I don’t want to be known as someone that doesn’t stick to what they say. I want to be trusted. Therefore, I do what I say I’m going to do, and I value that highly in others too.
The last value I hold is a mixture, and is hard to articulate. Of the other values I have outlined, they very much have a honesty and fairness feel to them, as well as being deliberative and a learner. All of this comes down to the fifth value that I hold for myself, which is a deep moral sense of justice. This is perhaps why I became a lawyer in the first place, but the legal system is often the least just place, hence my dissatisfaction. But I am guided through my actions and life by a deep sense of moral justice to others and about issues.
Given this deep sense of moral justice that I have and hold, this has lead me to explore my general dissatisfaction and start this blog for other women like me. It has also lead me to write my forthcoming book, The Cult of Dissatisfaction. I can no longer sit by with the inequalities going on around me, and even happening to me, without doing something about it. My sense of moral justice finally has me fired up on a larger scale than dealing with individuals – I want to empower other women to rise above the gender inequalities we face and make sure it is different for future generations of girls and women.