A blog about leadership: 'They are so nice at FONA'
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They are so nice at FONA…
This was the slogan of a well-known radio chain in the 60's. The radio chain is still alive. But they no longer use the slogan. And that's exactly what this article will be about: Do we have values or not? And if we have them, then what do we use them for?
What is a value?
A value can be defined as a principle, a philosophy or a guiding star that guides our thoughts, decisions and actions. A value is at the same time a choice. You value certain types of behaviors enough to choose them over behaviors you would otherwise have chosen at random.
These momentary choices determine how good you are at achieving your goals in the long run. If you are having difficulty achieving what you want, then you must first make sure that you are your values. Your behavior shows your true values. But if you do not identify and focus on what you want to guide you, then behaviors appear randomly and sporadically, based on how you feel or how your day has taken shape. The effective approach is that you identify the values that help you meet your goals and then make them a part of everything you do.
Something about values for YOU: Choose your values
It is most effective for you if you choose a few values that become entirely yours. Here are some to choose from:
Honestly (PS. There are more where they come from!)
Once you have selected a value, you must start defining it. What do you mean by that? What do you look like when you are it? What words do you use when you are it? How does the value help you when you are in a difficult situation? How does the value help you when, for example, you have to invite guests to your birthday?
Make your values visible
It obliges to choose values. That's one of the points. And then you might as well go all the way. It actually only works when you go all the way. Tell others about your values. Write them on your business card, in your car signature, on your website, on the front door, in the rear window of your car, have them printed as a poster and always print them out when you write your name. Then we all know who you are and where we have you.
Live your values
Now you need to start using the values actively: Think about them, talk about them, act on them. Your values will be most evident in your behavior. When you wave to the bus driver. When you smile at the cop. When you follow the fellow citizen across the street.
Ask for recognition
In order for you to find out how good you are at living your values, you can ask your family, your friends and your circle of friends: What behavior can you suggest to me so that I am in the best possible accordance with my values? Enjoy all the suggestions you receive:
‘One of your values is kindness. I saw you waving to a bus driver yesterday. See if you can wave to even more in the coming week. '
‘At the same time, I saw that you had your fucking finger in front. In what ways does it match your value when you are also told that it was me who was the cyclist? '
Something about values for YOUR COMPANY
In the radio chain FONA, they had formulated a slogan, presumably in accordance with their values. Here they had something real. Once the employees of a company have chosen the values, the next step is to proclaim them, make them official and public. Some formulate a song with the values in. Others write them on their website. Others get printed T-shirts with promising messages and banners hanging in visible places in the company. These are compelling ways to proclaim its values. But since it is the employees (managers and employees) who have chosen the values, it is obvious to implement employee-friendly initiatives so that everyone can remember the values and use the values.
Now follows the great and exciting work of BEING the values. What does this value really mean? This is how I look when I am that value. Here is a picture of me and a customer where I am our first value.
The process involves thinking, speaking and acting in accordance with the values. Leader to leader. Employee to employee. Head of employee. Employee to manager. Employee to customer. It turns into a lot of conversations about me and my behavior. Yes, and what effect will it have on your business?
We could not do it without you!
The third and final element of your company's value process is to CELEBRATE it. Usually when we prepare for a celebration, we decorate a room with balloons and flags and keep the champagne cool. What if we put just as much effort into decorating the ‘emotional space’ with appreciation, recognition, compliments and encouragement.
We all want to be recognized for our efforts. We want that recognition to come from the leaders and colleagues. We want the recognition to come at the right time and in the right way: Dear Benny, thank you for reminding us every day that we must work great together, thank you for always shining like 2 suns. We could not do it without you.
It is also quite nice to be recognized by the customers, the suppliers, the partners, the authorities. As one company recently said: ‘Here we are not working on getting written complaints, we are working on getting written recognition.
Something about values for DENMARK
There is often talk of 'the Danish values'. The politicians speak out and refer to them as if they were written down somewhere and are known by everyone. They are not. We can then each come up with some value-laden concepts, but they become quite random. I have for a long time consulted with several Danes, who all become equally long-eyed and a little embarrassed. Then they mention some elements. Nobody says the same thing. In other words, we do not yet agree on ‘the Danish values’. Let's get them worded. Let's proclaim them. Let's live them. Let's celebrate them. Let's together make Denmark our valuable spot on the world map.
Written by Michael Meinhardt, LEADERS WAREHOUSE.
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