What do you value really? 

I write this as an imperfect human being. Some of this I’m doing better at than others. I’ll never be perfect, none of us will. So I’m noticing, challenging myself and practicing different beliefs….. My personal development areas are at the end and I hope this might generate some thoughts for you.


In work we value :

Money. Being right. Long hours. Seniority. Intelligence. Data & facts. Work over anything else.

This means we strive for more money, to climb the ladder, and to work long hours, always protecting ourselves by not letting others see our mistakes and flaws – which leads to errors and unethical behaviour.  Because it means we compete to win above all else which puts us in an ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ mindset.

It means we think people with degrees are better than others. That what those people say is more valid.

It means we make decisions from bullet points & spreadsheets, ignoring what it might mean for the employees/customers/suppliers at the other end of the decision.

It means we sacrifice time with friends, family & loved ones because work is the thing the world values – if you tell someone you can’t do something because you’ve got a big presentation to finish – then ‘oh yes, very important, you must do that’. Tell someone you can’t do something because you need to look after the kids – then ‘oh, that’s disappointing. Those kids are a bit inconvenient’.

It means we believe we’re only ‘good enough’ if this is how we live. It means that who we are is judged by ourselves and others based on what we do, how much we earn, how much fancy stuff we have, how many qualifications we have, how senior we are.


What if we valued :

Equity. Learning from mistakes. Outputs. Diversity of thought. Emotion & feelings. The whole person.

We would do the work we’re great at & that we enjoy (no matter what that job is) because we don’t need to earn more / climb the ladder to become a worthy human being / gain respect.  With less ‘winning’ needed to be ‘good enough’ our mindset would be more often in the ‘we’ space.

Instead of only wanting to hear good news and glossy ‘managed’ messages we’d be open to hearing the dark side too, the ‘what’s not working’ which means we learn and which makes for improved services and greater satisfaction for all.

We’d give people responsibility to get their work done on time to deliver our products & services to our customers. Developing them and then trusting them to think for themselves about how they do that.

We’d really listen and value a variety of perspectives. No matter what the person’s background, seniority or education.

We’d care about people beyond our own needs when making decisions and we’d listen to our own hearts and guts as well as our heads. Accessing all our information. Borrowing from Roger Steare – is the decision logical, does it follow the rules / law and is it the right thing for others?

We wouldn’t be afraid of our own or others’ discomfort or emotional responses to something. We’d see that as great information and go towards it to inquire into it, learning more about it to enable more conscious choices in what we do and how we do it. Also then enabling change to happen more easily by acknowledging where we, or others, really are instead of squashing those feelings deep down and ignoring them. However good we think we are at doing that it shows up somewhere, leaks out in a different way or a different part of our life.

We’d value people having variety in their life and see that being able to fulfil their outside interests or commitments would help them to be at their best more of the time in everything they do. Aspects of them which aren’t met through work being met elsewhere. Priorities of the other people for whom they’re responsible being valued as an important contribution to the future of this thing we call society.

So for me……I see in myself a pull towards work instead of my kids – I’m practising to shift that. I feel in myself a little buzz when a senior leader follows me – I’m noticing and challenging myself on what I’m making that mean. I hear myself talking about the big businesses I work with because it makes me feel important and think it will impress – I can’t influence what others will think as important, I can notice how I feel and challenge my thoughts. Work in progress – always learning.

[Photo credit – http://www.welovedates.com/blog/17586/tell-difference-confident-arrogant-man/%5D

This is me….www.wildfigsolutions.co.uk

WFS Tree


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