I literally stand on my values every day I put on my mustard yellow Old Navy sneakers. The word “Equality” is written in sharpie marker on the bottom of one shoe, and “Connection” is written on the sole of the other. What happens when we are connected deeply to our values? They give us courage.
While my tendency might be to look away when I see something wrong (my go-to shame shield is “move away”) when I’m crystal clear on my values, looking away is no longer an option.
I was encouraged by my mentor and friend Michelle Myers to sit down and define how I live my values in my work and life. Here are a few practices I have determined help me live out my values in my professional life:
- Hire, celebrate, and empower leaders of all backgrounds.
- Ensure the planning process gives voice to all stakeholders in an organization.
- Create and support access to the Dare to Lead curriculum for emerging leaders of diverse backgrounds.
- Make time and space for true human connection in the work day, every day. Being seen and heard fuels us all.
- Create environments where people can connect deeply with others.
- Help people connect with themselves, their values, and their purpose.
Getting explicit about these values helps me make hard decisions about who to serve, when to walk toward – or away from – opportunities, and when to speak up.
If you want the time and space to dig into your values, I encourage you to join me for a four-hour workshop based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown on December 6th at the Quincy Public Library. Give yourself the gift of clearly defined values for the new year.
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