“Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don’t change.” – Jane Goodall (1934 – ), English Anthropologist
As a coach, I often hear clients complaining about how things are not working for them and they get stressed. Many times in one’s career and in life we go through a feeling of disgust, frustration at something which is not in tune with our core values. It could be a bad boss or a toxic company culture.We then get into the blame game but we do not understand the real reason for this frustration.
Considering that we spend many hours at work, it becomes very important that the core values of the organization match with our personal core values. If it does not, then we will always be in a frustrated state of mind. You may do the job, but it would not be for the love of doing work, but the money that comes with it. The same is true if your values are in direct conflict with those of your boss. This causes stress and all the related symptoms that go with stress.
Conflict of values
” It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney (1893 – 1971), Walt Disney’s Elder Brother and the Financier of his Effort
An example of how hard it is to have corporate values embraced is a personal one. In one of my jobs, I experienced the biggest conflict of values which left me completely stressed. The organization that I worked with had signed up for a major transformation program with one of its clients. This particular client had the most complex technology platforms for which my organization had no skills and therefore was struggling to meet the client’s expectations. The conflict of values came when I realized that my boss and his superiors have been making all false promises to the client. There was absolutely no honesty in their dealings neither with the client nor the internal teams. My values for honesty and transparent behavior felt completely violated.
I decided it was time for me to look for more meaningful work elsewhere.
Are you living your core values or are you fulfilling someone else’s values?
We are familiar with work-related stress. It is often referred to as a part and parcel of having a career. But if you think deeper and look at what is causing you the stress, it may be because of the disconnect between your core values and the values of the company that you are working for. If money is the greatest motivator for you, then probably you do not have a choice but to continue working under stress. You are then working towards fulfilling someone else’s values.
Marshall Goldsmith in his book ” Mojo” explains how some people do nothing to change the status quo. They prefer to remain miserable rather than be happy.
Having your personal values persistently ignored is not good for any individual.
Respect your values.
“Ideas are a dime a dozen. People who put them into action are priceless.” – Author unknown
Focus on your core values to be more effective in life and career.
Identify your passion and purpose in life. Ask yourself what is more important to you. Once you know what your passion is and what is your purpose in life, you will launch yourself on the path to success. Your values will provide you the required drive to work and be satisfied. It is very important that you respect your values and be true to your values. This may at times be difficult because your passion and dream may drive you to achieve something which is not always acceptable to everyone around you. But if you are true to your self, then this may not be a bigger hurdle to cross.
Shifting from apathy to being happy is completely in your control. It may look difficult at first, but there are several real inspiring stories which narrate how people have done it.
Hire a coach who can help you navigate the turbulence, challenge your thinking, provide you with different perspectives. Take control of your life and career and up your Mojo.
Marshall Goldsmith in his book ” Mojo” says the following
“It is your life. If your Mojo is suffering, no one can make the “you vs. it” decision for you. My only suggestion is that you become clear on your own values and make a thoughtful decision”
Are you clear on your own values? Ask yourself the following to identify your personal values
1. What is most important to you in your life?
2. What do you need in your life?
3. What motivates you in life?
Your insights may surprise you!
In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl describes the ability to choose one’s own attitude. He was separated from his own wife, mother, and father, and lost them all before the war ended.
But what did Frankl learn from his time in the concentration camp? Here’s what he said:
“Everything can be taken away from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”
My work as an executive coach and consultant gives me an opportunity to interact with different people. I find some individuals get along well with their colleagues and bosses, whereas, some find it hard to cope.
Individuals working on the same project achieve different results under similar circumstances. What separates the achievers from the losers? It is the attitude towards work. Attitude is everything.
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” – William James
Attitude is everything
Attitude is a mindset and a belief system.
Our environments are overcrowded with individuals who exhibit toxic behaviors, negativity, lack of credibility and similar mindsets
Last week during a visit to a client’s office, I overheard a heated conversation in the lobby. One of the executives was venting his anger. The subject of the discussion was how the senior executives got passed over for a promotion. On checking with the HR Head, I got to know that the gentleman was not promoted because of his attitude. I wasn’t surprised. What I had seen in the lobby was a proof of it.
Charles Swindoll said,”life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it”.
He was referring to attitude. 90% of the time you are in charge of it
Types of Attitudes
Dr. Mabel Joshua-Amadi in her book”The Power of Attitude” writes about the different types of attitudes that people display. She has used Metaphors of birds to depict the different ten types.
- Positive Attitude of the golden eagles
- Negative attitude of the Hawk
- Pitiful, Victim attitude of the nightingale
- Fearful attitude of the Ostrich
- Blase attitude of the peacock and parrot
- Beaten attitude of the mournful dove
- Commandant attitude of the rooster
- Caring attitude of the hen
- Critical attitude of the carrion crow
Can you identify your dominant attitude from the list?
Viktor Frankl in his book talks about how he survived the Holocaust and in those horrible days he held on to the ability to choose his attitude.
You can choose and change your mindset and belief no matter what! Have a mentor or a coach to help you navigate. Don’t let your attitude be a reason for your career derailment.
A Chinese philosopher Confucius said that ” Only the most intelligent and the most stupid do not change.
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther