I have always believed in having values. Values are the ideals, customs, institutions, etc., of a society toward which the people of the group feel are important such as cleanliness, freedom, respect, service, integrity or education.

Unlike belief systems, which I believe must be regularly examined and updated, I believe values must remain constant if they are to be an effective tool. The Northern star is valuable to navigators because it remains consistently fixed in the heavens. It is a tool that provides accurate direction when needed no matter where the person is located;it is a constant in a world full of variables.

So how does this apply to you and me? perhaps you adhere to a set of values that guide your behaviors. I have found that when I have made decisions consistent with my values, I have had success and feel generally satisfied.

In the past few years I have also found great benefits from following a set of values in business decision-making. You may be saying, “Spencer you must be slow, of course that makes sense.” You may be correct, yet my experience is that most companies have a published set of values that may be found on their walls or in their employee handbooks. The problem is, that is usually where the values stay; looked at once and collecting dust.

Companies spend a great deal of time and money defining values that are important to them. The challenge seems to be in behaving in harmony with those values. I have experienced first hand how behaving and making decision in alignment with your stated values improves employee satisfaction, and just as importantly it improves efficiency and productivity. Not only is behaving in alignment with your stated values the right thing to do, it will benefit your bottom line. Following the constant guidance of positive values will lead us inexorably to the destination we desire.

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