The world we live in today craves authenticity.
Whether you spend five minutes or five hours online, it is immediately apparent on social media that the brands who embrace this idea, and who advance the idea of being yourself to their customers, are the leaders.
You can see it in advertising campaigns like Dove’s campaign for real beauty. Instead of using models, they focus on real people of all backgrounds.
This follows that we don’t want to work with people who we perceive as fake. However, if you want to live authentically, you need to understand yourself.
Even before you can hire staff or attract clients, you need to understand the central values that shape your firm’s approach to life.
This begins by identifying your core values, which are what you want others to say about you when you aren’t around. Are you positive, trustworthy, honest?
These values are not necessarily representative of who you are today, but rather, aspirational. They are about who you want to be.
When building your list of core values, start by thinking of adjectives and stop once you get to four or five. You just need a list that is refined and targeted.
Align Personal, Professional Values
Now align your business values with those personal values. What will your business look like.
When it comes to core values, personal values transcend to firm values. As the firm founder, you are looked to as the leader and vision setter; if your values do not align with those of the firm, disruption will result.
Aligning personal and professional values is about much more than writing down a matching list, however. Actions must match words.
When plotting the firm’s values, begin with the same process as choosing your personal core values. Think of five adjectives that describe how you want to be known.