This This is part III of a three part series exploring the key components of social change. You can find part I on connection here
It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. – Roy Disney
ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistency,optimism, dependability, flexibility
What are your highest priorities?
Where do you spend your money? Where do you place your time and attention? This is what you value. These values guide your choices as you make decisions about your daily life. Your goals and purpose are grounded in your values
They are kind of a big deal
Yet as individuals or organizations we rarely talk about them. They are our driving force, they define our character–yet so few of us can really articulate what they mean to us and why we hold them dear.
Clear understanding of values= clear purpose. Whatever you value is what you live.
They help us be the people or organizations we want to be. That is why the best bit of advice I give new or young nonprofits is simple:
Build an Organization Based on Values
Let these values guide you in your daily decision making. Put your money where your mouth is. If you are an organization that focuses on issues like fair housing or economic development then make sure you pay your staff a livable -wage.
If your organization values learning then make sure that is reflected in your yearly budget and your strategic plans.
Everyday we have a choice. We can live in our private little silos or we can discuss, engage, an co- create value based systems and lives at home and at work. When we all are clear about whats important to us as a community, then we can all contribute.
They are my touchstones. I reflect on them often. Its also makes it easier for me to let things and people go when their values do not fit with my own.
This letting go is not filled with judgement but filled with love. I once worked for a fantastic organization that did amazing work. Loved my staff and the work that I did everyday. As my life changed my values changed. Once I realized that what I valued most for myself and my community could never be found within this organization then it was easy to make the choice to explore other options and opportunities.
Build a Life Based on Values
They just could not give me what I needed or allow me to live out my values in a way that was true to me . I could let go without guilt.
Values empower us. They are a key component to our evolution as individuals and to the evolution of our organizations.