By Caroline Moran, MD, Clear
New month, new mindset… and as we are nearly at the 12-month mark since the events industry fell off a cliff, an ideal time for reflection.
I don’t mind sharing that Lockdown Part 3 has been the hardest one for me. A combination of cold weather and 4pm sunsets has been a slog.
Home schooling has ramped up which is brilliant but comes with pressure, guilt, swearing at technology and wishing I wasn’t Mum, teacher and the IT department all rolled into one. (Not forgetting school cook, cleaner and occasional truancy officer).
We are all missing people and of course the weekend activities we took for granted this time last year. My LinkedIn feed is a daily reminder that many talented people I know are not as fortunate as I am. It really is little wonder that January has been mentally tough and I am glad to say goodbye to it.
But what has this got to do with values?
When navigating a business through crisis you flip to survival mode very quickly. How can we reduce costs? What non-essential expenses can go? Cash flow becomes something you think about constantly and review on a daily basis.
But the time comes where you start thinking about moving forward and how you and the business will survive. This to me was the point I realised the power of the values we have at Clear. Values give clarity. They drive your business and your people. The Clear values are very simple but have played a huge part in keeping us focussed and optimistic in 2020.
We have remained customer focused and caring … always taking the time to understand the challenges faced by our clients. We have remained collaborative with everyone we work with, and the creativity shown by the team with new digital solutions has blown me away. We have been trusted by clients, existing and new, to help them deliver the unknown.
My belief in our values has been resolute. They are right for us, our clients, associates and suppliers.
However, an area I’d never given much thought to is my own personal values.
Like most people, I work hard and try to be a good person. But did that mean I had values? And did it actually matter?
In 2020 we completed a re-branding project for Professor Damian Hughes and I spent of a lot of time on Zoom chatting to him about exactly this. It was fascinating to hear him explain how having personal values and non-negotiable behaviours links directly to leading a high performance life.
As part of his High Performance Podcast he discusses personal values and behaviours with individuals who are at the top of their game, whether they are from the world of sport, business or music.
On each podcast there is a consistent agreement that accountability is essential, but values differ from person to person.
This is a great reminder that a one size fits all solution does not exist – what works for one, won’t work for all. The key is establishing values and behaviours that work for you.
Every guest on the podcast is asked the same question and I urge you all to ask yourself it. Don’t rush to answer, don’t compare with anyone, just think about you, what is important to you and what traits are important in the people you surround yourself with.
The question is this: What are your three non-negotiable behaviours?
I thought long and hard about it. The answer not only reflects who you are as a person – or at least how you wish to be seen – but it reflects on all aspects of your life – friends, family, parenting, relationships and business.
Mine are simply:
- Honesty – as with this comes trust, reliability and great relationships
- Positivity – keeping an open mind to new ideas and solutions helps with creativity and innovation – and allows you to help others when they need it
- Respect – everyone. Who you meet, who you work with. This behaviour says everything about who you are
You might not agree and that doesn’t matter. What matters is finding the values that help you stay accountable for what you do, how you work and how you treat others.
I don’t think my values are vastly different to what I already felt was important to be a good person but the more I think of them, the more I realise they really do matter to me and I find that very powerful.
Having them clear in my mind keeps me accountable, focussed and ensures I maintain the right attitude. This, I know, will help me get through, what I hope, are the last phases of the pandemic.
So as I said earlier, new month, new mindset… which is why I have written this blog… as a way to be positive to hopefully help others.
Reflecting on your personal values – or actually setting for the first time – could be your re-set for the year ahead.
It could be a great way to reaffirm what you already believe. Or it could be you realise they are the same as the ones you have established in the business. Either way, what a great motivational boost?!
Maybe it will be the pep talk you need to get you through to what will soon be much brighter days or simply be an activity that helps you think about what you want from the year ahead.
Whatever the outcome, I wanted to share this thought process with others to see if had a positive effect on them too.
We all understand the importance of having values in business, why not believe in the power of our own personal values?
Clear are holding a free webinar with Professor Damian Hughes on both Friday 5 February and Monday 8 February where he will share his thoughts around High Performance, what are the common traits, the lessons we can all share and what tools we can use to create our own High Performing lives in 2021. More information can be found here