Inconvenient values

A good test of your values is asking when they last cost you something else that you wanted. For each of your values ask: Do you donate to the cause, or otherwise pay to make it happen? Do you give up opportunities? Do you pay a financial penalty for avoiding something? Do you work to change things by writing or…

Knowing better (3): the best values

My values are the best that I know; I assume you feel the same. Changing them is hard – it takes some combination of (delete as appropriate)… experience / evidence / awareness / engagement with an argument / a strong feeling… …of / with / about … the flaws in our existing values / the way that something we think…

Values in tension (2): resource allocation

How we allocate our scarce resources – particularly money, time and attention – shines a bright light on how we prioritise between values. Most of us can have most of the things we value: wealth, physical beauty, time to ourselves, family, a sense of meaningful contribution, a fabulous car, deep friendships, fitness, artistic accomplishment, solidarity with those who have less,…

Values in tension (1)

I’ve been thinking a lot about values recently. I mean things like justice, peace, loyalty, family, courage, etc. etc. I think it’s super important to understand your values, to make good decisions for yourself and for the world, but it’s also easy for those values words to replace thinking. You can use the word in a sentence without really having…

Mission statement example: Airbnb mission statement and values

Here’s great mission statement from Airbnb. Our Mission: Create a world where anyone can belong anywhere It’s an audacious, incredibly rewarding mission that our increasingly diverse team is dedicated to achieving. Airbnb is built around the idea that everyone should be able to take the perfect trip, including where they stay, what they do, and who they meet. To that…

Creeds and values

Creeds and value-statements can be useful ways to remind your team who you are, and how you work. They can help your team to develop a shared vocabulary and shared principles, which can be a powerful way to start shaping a shared culture. On Vox’s (excellent) Land of the Giants podcast, for example, host Jason Del Rey comments how often…

Values and vision: the acid test

Peter Drucker and Stephen Covey ask the same simple question to get at the heart of these: “What do you want to be remembered for?” Covey asks you to imagine your funeral: Who is there? What do you hope they’d say about you? Is this consistent with how you live now? Which goals and relationships matter, in the end? Which…

Conflicting values

If you keep butting up against the same problem with a colleague – a problem you think you’ve fixed, but that comes up repeatedly in slightly different variations – it could be a sign of conflicting values. Values conflicts often seem to arise over: Money (fees, salaries and expenses) Time (working hours, punctuality) Effort and focus (work ethic, productivity, accountability)…

Strategy (3): Strategy is about the big picture (relatively)

This is the third post in a series – start here. Definition of Strategy (as a skill or activity): Strategy is the dynamic process of making big-picture plans (strategies) with the intention of increasing the chances or speed at which you’ll achieve your major goals. Which picture? Strategy is commonly defined as a “big picture” activity: “a general plan to…

The next (small) step

In the face of too much to do (which there always will be), too little time (there is never enough), lack of clear information about the present (let alone the future), and uncertainty about what’s going to work (probably the bit that makes your work interesting and important) and how best to do it, what should you do? One answer…