If you can’t walk it, don’t talk it!
One of the four key elements that I speak about in my keynote program is the importance of defining your Core Values and using them as your primary framework for growth.
I’ve discovered that individuals (and organizations) whose behaviors are aligned with their core values are the ones who stand out from the competition. And the best way of gauging whether or not you are living up to those values is how people respond to you at any given moment.
Two recent experiences have caused me to reflect again on how our values can show up in everyday circumstances and influence our relationships.
First Experience: The Box
I was the Opening Keynote speaker for a national conference and arrived early the day before the event. The host invited me to attend the Opening Reception at an offsite location. When the reception was over I noticed that the meeting planner was struggling to carry a heavy box down a long stair case. I reached out, took the box from her, and carried it to the awaiting bus. She said, “No, you don’t need to do that. You are the Keynote Speaker. You’re our guest.” I continued down the stairs and replied, “No, I’m your conference partner and I’m here to help.” She told me later that most speakers wait to be catered to and my offer to help was a breath of fresh air.
Second Experience: The Business Card
I attended a special networking event at the invitation of a friend. It was the grand opening of a business. I was greeted at the door by the CEO and the President of the company. We spoke briefly and I joined a small group for a tour of the new building. Later in the evening the CEO intentionally worked his way through the crowd to talk with me. We discovered that we had some things in common. Then he said, “I wanted to get to know you because you didn’t give me a business card when you walked through the door. Thanks, by the way.” I asked him to explain what he meant and he said that most people peddle their business card and go right into the sales pitch. “You didn’t come with that kind of agenda,” he said, “and I appreciate that.” He was right. My purpose was to support my friend and not to promote myself.
One of the CORE VALUES of our business is to “Serve Wherever Needed and Whenever Possible” — That mindset has become infused in my interactions and often kicks in without second thought.
Your core principles (values) will not be believable in the marketplace until you wholeheartedly believe them in private and in practice!
Does all this really matter and will it help to open doors to new opportunities for you? Well, people in my sphere of influence are telling me that it really does matter. (By the way, I’ve been invited to have coffee with the CEO).
What are your core values and can you tell if you’re living up to your own standards by the way people respond?
~ Steven Iwersen, CSP
Copyright 2019, Steven Iwersen. Steven is the author of Porcupine Philosophy: 365 Leadership Points to Ponder and The Porcupine Principles: How to Move Prickly People to Preferred Outcomes.