Today’s letter for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge is ‘V’ for my theme ‘A to Z of Effectiveness’. You can read more about my theme here. I’m also participating in the NaBloPoMo for April.
We often speak of a person’s core values, referring to his innermost beliefs, on which his thoughts, speech and actions are based. We might use this word interchangeably with ‘principles’, the foundation of one’s character. However, Stephen Covey begs to differ; in his book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, he says that ‘principles are not values’.
Mr. Covey explains values using an analogy of a map. If you want to reach a certain destination in
a map of Mumbai is not going to help you, no matter how street smart or
positive you are. Basically, getting the territory right is the first priority;
the map comes later. Going by this analogy, the territory refers to our
principles, the basic truths of human nature. Values, however, are the
maps, which guide us once our principles are sound. Delhi
This does not in any way mean that values are trivial. Values like teamwork and cooperation are not just useful, but necessary when one is in a team. Although you have to ensure you’re in the right team! In the right territory, values can help you navigate unknown terrain, overcome obstacles as well as help others along the way.
On a personal level, it helps to set our principles first, before deciding what our values are. Usually spouses or family members will share the same set of values, as will the employees of an organization. When everyone is in sync, no one can stop us from reaching great heights!