What gets you up in the morning?

Are values important to our success in business? I vote a resounding yes! We’ve probably all heard “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I like the additional “…and then what you know.” And how do we truly know people? Get to understand their values… what get’s them up in the morning. Know that, you know them and have a foundation to build and grow a relationship. Sound a bit cold and detached? It does a little when you put it in that formula, however think about when you met your spouse or a best friend. How did you get so well connected to them? Was it in in part due to deep mutual understanding of each other?

So what am I banging on about?

I’m currently working with my mentor on including my values into how I think about my career. As he pointed out we often focus on the ‘big pillars’ that we want to be known for, yet we often allow the value part of our development to atrophy. Unintentionally most of the time.

When he first mentioned values I was skeptical. I’d done Covey exercises (amongst others) in the past. It was good and they made sense but I let focusing on them slide. Not sure why, I think perhaps I didn’t find it as practical as focusing on building my Clifton Strengths.

My mentor reintroduced me to focusing on values in a very potent way. “What get’s you up in the morning Matthew?” We started with this being the obvious (my son, he literally does). We moved through the philosophical and into the more career focused. Then he got me to prioritize.

The icing on the cake was ideas and encouragement to identify others “values”, basically what is important to them. I’ll be working on this. Keep me honest. And if you like, I’d love to chat 1:1 about your values so that I can understand you that much better and our working relationship can go from good to great… You may note from the prioritized list below that people are at the top of my values. Yes, that’s you in there at number two.

  1. Family
  2. Interacting with others*
  3. Creativity
  4. Learning
  5. Technology
  6. Solving Problems
  7. Impact
  8. Achievement
  9. Stability/Rewards
  10. Environment/Aesthetics


*I should note this is in a purely positive sense!

Final thoughts: these will shift over time, however it wouldn’t be surprising to always see a few up at the top. Also these are not all the values in the world or necessarily what you might define as a value. That’s OK! Yours can and should be different and in your own words.


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