I am curious to hear how you feel about the behavior and decision making of some people who have risen through the business and political ranks to attain positions of authority and power in recent times? People who appear to be having difficulty making decent decisions and following their moral compass to connect with their True North!
Why should we care? What has any of this to do with our sense of personal and collective societal well-being?
I believe that we are all start out in life with an innate desire to make a positive difference, to influence change and to leave the world a better place than we found it. To daily make authentic decisions across all of our life roles to benefit our families, our friends and our communities. So what happens to people who slide down the slippery slope of self-centered, selfish and damaging personal and leadership decisions?
One thing stands out for me – they’re out of touch with their Values – that inner voice or compass that reminds us about what’s important to us in life! When we lose touch and our Values dial shifts away from our True North, the quality of our decision making suffers.
One of the critical elements of a Neuroleadership Coaching engagements is that people are invited to explore their Values, fine tune them and start to actively use them in all aspects of their life. If only we could reach these people of authority and get them involved in Coaching!
Emotional Intelligence also plays an important part in our capacity to make decisions, to recognize the patterns of behavior we see in ourselves and to fully understand the consequences and flow on effects arising from how we conduct ourselves. Having an awareness of and a connection to our greater life purpose also helps. Simply thinking about what we want our grandchildren to say about us at our 80th birthday party keeps us tuning into our True North on a daily basis! A certain American politician prominent in the media currently comes to mind – I wonder how he would like to be remembered by his beloved in years to come!
So what happens to personal leadership when people in positions of power make decisions that have a negative flow on impact on their communities? Have they lost touch with their Values, or are they simply challenged in their Emotional Intelligence competencies? I imagine it’s most likely a combination of both! The tragedy is that many honest lives are influenced and negatively impacted by these kinds of leaders, and the well-being champion in me strives to be a voice for change and to witness the unlocking of potential for a different style of leadership and decision making.
As humans on this planet, we all share a personal responsibility to make considered decisions, both for ourselves and for others who may be influenced by our decisions. A great starting point is to do a Values Coaching exercise every few months, to tap into our top six Values and to refer back to them daily as we go about the life business of making choices.
Our Values change over time, and so we need to do this exercise at least six monthly to keep pointing to our True North.
Here’s a simple Coaching activity that you may like to try:
Create a list of your most important 25 Values, without trying to order them at all. Do this by circling 25 of Values on the list below that most call to you; then group them into ‘like’ Values, & drill down further to come up with your top six most important Values.
These Values are your True North to guide every decision you make in life.
Abundance, Excitement; Integrity; Quality of Life; Acceptance of Diversity; Experimentation; Intellectual status; Quiet times; Expertise; Intelligence; Recognition; Advancement; Relationship; Adventure; Fairness & Social Justice; Knowledge; Love of learning; Reliability; Love of Family; Laughter; Respect; Ambition; Leadership; Animal rights; Learning; Risk taking; Art; Flexibility; Leisure; Security; Attention to detail; Forgiveness; Self control; Self-respect; Balance; Freedom; Love for myself; Love for others; Smiling at strangers; Calmness; Spirituality; Friendship; Authenticity; Beauty; Freedom of choice; Kindness; Friendship; Generosity; Spontaneity; Challenge; Global awareness; Moral fulfillment; Stability; Global peace; Positivity; Nature; Style; Charity; Happiness; Natural living; Story telling; Frankness; Growth; Collaboration; Optimism; Passion; Community; Health; Patriotism; Compassion; Helping society; Thinking time; Personal growth; Courage; Honour; Play; Tolerance; Imagination; Pleasure; Tranquility; Trustworthiness; Trust; Understanding; Innovation; Empathy; Inspiration; Pride; Equality for all; Perspective; Cultural diversity; Honesty; Persistence; Professionalism; Collaboration; Democracy; Emotional availability; Pride.
Allow me to share my top six Values with you: Authenticity, Love of Family, Integrity; Honesty; Compassion and Love of learning. Tuning into these on a daily basis means that every decision I make has my family’s best interests at heart. I genuinely treat every person I meet with a genuine positive regard, and try to be authentic in all aspects of my life. I find myself grabbing every opportunity to learn more and be the best person I can be! Of course as with everything in life, our Values will change over time and so I wonder what mine will be in 6 months time?