Personal Values Impact Success More Than Company Values

Many companies have conducted training programs and conference presentations on the importance of aligning decisions and behaviour with company values.

As we launch into 2024, new research, supporting extensive historical research(1), shows when leaders and employees have clarity of their personal values, there is a stronger association and positive impact across a range of organizational success factors, compared to leaders and employees who only have clarity of company values.

However, few leaders and employees can confidently detail their three to five personal values upon which they intentionally choose to live their life by.

New Research, Old Wisdom

You might be familiar with my favorite quote of Aristotle, which is:

“Our actions and behavior are our morals shown in conduct.”

Everything you say or do, sends loud and clear messages to your clients, customers, colleagues, leaders, friends, family, and community, about who you are, and the values by which you are intentionally or unintentionally choosing to live your life by.

As you shake off the festive season, and knuckle down to doing stuff in 2024, get more intentional about aligning what you choose to do with the values or principles upon which you want to live your life.

A Learning and Growth Priority for 2024

Again, the research shows a clarity of personal values has a stronger association with many organizational success factors than having clarity of organizational values alone.

This means, hiring leaders and employees who have clarity of their personal values is important.

It also means, providing existing leaders and employees with learning opportunities to gain clarity on their personal values (and not just on company values) ought to be a high priority for 2024.

To be clear here, when leaders and employees are clear on their personal values, when faced with important decision points in their business and personal lives, they can use them as their guide for better decision making by asking these two questions:

1. How will this decision I’m about to make or this action I’m about to take demonstrate to all others the values upon which I choose to live my life?

2. How will this decision I’m about to make or this action I’m about to take demonstrate to all others the values upon which our company chooses to do business?

Companies with leaders and employees who have clarity of their personal values, and when those personal values are aligned with company values, will experience more positive impacts across a range of success factors.

That ought to be a clear priority for 2024.

Reference:

Posner, Barry and Han, Joongoo (2024) “How Values and Value Clarity Still Matter: An Extended Study of Global Managers,” The Journal of Values-Based Leadership: Vol. 17 : Iss. 1 , Article 7.

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