Winter has been cold here in Georgia, making a California girl like me long for summer. It makes me appreciate the gloriously sun-filled days last summer and the time I was able to spend boating. Being on the water is delightful whether you are putt-putting around or seeing how fast you can go. The most pleasant moments on a boat for me are those spent anchored in a peaceful bay and indulging in delicious food and deep conversation with people I treasure.
I am not an expert in boating, but I do know that peaceful moments on a boat are only possible with an anchor. With an anchor in place, you can relax knowing that the boat will remain where it is. Without an anchor, the boat would drift in a wrong or dangerous direction. In a storm, an anchor is even more important.
Having an anchor on board is not what provides peace and safety. What provides peace and safety is using the anchor when it is needed.
When it comes to your life and your leadership, values are your anchor. Values are what will keep you from drifting into danger so that you can experience fulfillment and joy. Your values will enable you to be more decisive, motivated, and focused.
While you have values, you may not know what they are. Your values are unique to you. Even if you and another person have similar values, you may not walk them out in the same way. It is common knowledge that every snowflake is unique. The same is true for values. It is these differences in values, and the interpretation of values, that is at the root of most conflict and frustration.
Being clear on what your values are will prevent you from drifting into danger and increase your effectiveness. Knowing the values of those you interact with closely will help you to understand them better so that you can relate to them more positively. That’s the “anchor advantage!”
How can you identify your values?
1. Start by asking God to reveal your values to you.
2. Begin brainstorming and making a list of potential values as you consider the following:
- What in your life is incredibly important to you?
- What in your life frustrates you or excites you?
- What are you willing to fight for? Die for?
- What are you passionate about?
3. Ask those who know you well to share what they believe you value based on what they observe in your life. Add their observations to your brainstorming list.
4. Review your brainstorming values list. What evidence is there in your life to support the values listed? Cross off any of the values on your list lacking evidence.
5. Through a process of elimination, narrow your list down until you have five values.
6. Consider what you might need to change to align with your values.
Once you are clear on your personal values, consider clarifying your values as a family, team, or organization. Keep in mind that your personal values will reflect you, while the values for a family, team or organization will reflect the group or organization.
How about you? Would you like to enjoy the “Anchor Advantage?” What are your values? How would clarifying your values enhance your life and your leadership? Where have you experienced stress and frustration? To what degree were you operating out of your values in those situations? How would experiencing more peace and effectiveness change your life and your leadership?
Struggling to identify your values? Working with a Life Coach is a great way to achieve clarity in all areas of your life and leadership including identifying your values.