When the Values Don’t Jive
The best part of learning from my mistakes, is documenting them so you can benefit! I have learned through many mistakes in the past. One of the most powerful lessons recently, has the impact of when either your employer or your leader's value system is not aligned with your own. I have also learned from some of these same mistakes how important attracting new talent to your organization with a similar value structure, not to mention buying into their vision. If a new hire has a different value structure, it's not a matter of if they will leave; it's a matter of when.
The two most important questions to ask yourself and your team are the following:
Are you able to advise what your top core values are?
Are you able to articulate why those are your core values?
The Reality of Misaligned Values
I recently resigned from an employer who, frankly, I was convinced I would retire with. I gave over a decade and my dedication to this organization not even realizing that there was an alignment issue. That’s because, at the beginning, there hadn’t been one.
So what changed? In the season of mergers and acquisitions. The company was acquired by an organization that wasn’t familiar with our market, our strategy or our values. There was a new team, a new strategy overnight, and a new industry for the people in charge. That’s a lot of change!
Within a short period, their value structure was revealed.
This, unfortunately, turned out to emphasize profits before people. Profits and revenue retention is important. We all need to make money. When money is the goal and not a tool, to propel business and investments forward, that’s when we fall short.
Once the care and the appreciation of people are lessened, personally, I am no longer in alignment with the philosophy. Try as I might, excitement with a common goal is gone.
Carrying out the day-to-day was no longer conducted with empathy, teamwork or a sense of autonomy. Companies are made of people, and when things get complicated, best to collaborate versus execute first.
Re-alignment and Flow
I quickly realized that either I needed to adjust my value structure or leave.
An unfortunate situation to be in.
Long story short, I resigned. In my departing email to those I left behind, I stated,
"Never underestimate the value you bring to your team and your organization." Lastly, stay true to yourself."
I am pleased that I quickly aligned with a company that cares not only about its people but consistently gives back yearly. My decision to join was primarily based on that and, of course, the other everyday pieces of the pie.
The bottom line is a complete alignment of core values top down.
So, take it from a guy who has been around the block, the importance of knowing exactly what core values drive you and be crystal clear in your vision. Doing so will help ensure you have a mutually beneficial relationship.
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