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Making the Tough Decisions – Part 4, Being Clear on Your Convictions

Annual Planning MPIn my last post we discussed the need to courageously face the brutal facts and resist the temptation to “bend the map”.  So, for leaders, the obvious follow-up question’s are:

  • Where do we find this courage?
  • What’s the solid foundation we can plant our feet on?
  • Where do we find the confidence that, regardless of the outcome of our decisions, we can rest knowing we made them based on strong values and clear convictions?

It’s in this last question that we find the foundation to having the courage to make those tough decisions. We need to seek, find and articulate both our personal and our organizational values and beliefs.  So to that end, let’s take a brief look at both core values and beliefs and the critical role each play in making tough decisions.

Core values answer the question – what’s most important?  What are the things we’re willing to work and sacrifice for, and never compromise on?  What’s so important that we’ll defend these values even if it causes great pain and loss?  Think of the great price paid by the men and women of our military to defend our nation’s core values of liberty and freedom.  Core values, when used in decision-making, provide a guide on what we’re willing to do and not to do.

The second half of our foundation for courage is knowing our core beliefs.  Core beliefs answer the question – what do we believe to be true?  They’re different from core values because they’re found outside of ourselves or our organization not from within. Though they’re similar to core values, because when they’re core we’re willing to defend, sacrifice, and suffer pain and loss because of them.  However we must remember that core beliefs are true regardless of whether everyone values or believes them. Articulating core beliefs is an act of acknowledging the reality in which we live and work and gives us a solid foundation to face and make difficult decisions. It keeps us from “bending the map” and helps assure we’re making decisions that match up with the realities of the world.

So as leaders we have the dual responsibility of knowing and articulating both our personal as well as our organization’s core values and beliefs.  They provide us the foundation for the courage we need to make tough decisions, the peace of mind we seek during difficult times and the guard rails to keep us on track.

If you’ve never articulated your personal and your team’s core values and belief’s I encourage you to begin the process as soon as possible.  Taking time before the new year begins will help you and your leadership prepare for the inevitable tough decisions that will come your way in 2016.

 

 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. John Fleming #

    P, You really have something here between the third and 4th posts. At times, I fall into the category of bending the map on policy and politics (some would say more often than not). Tending at times to seek data to endorse a position rather than research and explore other angles, usually because its more efficient. In politics as well as leadership I think that it is critical for a leader to surround him / herself with other who share the core values and beliefs, but not necessarily the same life experiences. By sharing core values and beliefs, one can trust in the open debate of alternatives without the offeror¹s fear of repercussion or the Leader¹s concern of being manipulated. The leader still must make the decision but its up to his / her lieutenants to offer perspective, alternatives to keep the leader clear of the fog.

    I enjoy our road trip discussions and learn so much perspective from listening to each one discuss challenges, which nearly always are personnel related. The best part for me is hearing alternative perspectives from all of you.

    I think you are on the right track here. Have a great day. John

    From: Michael Perry Reply-To: Michael Perry Date: Monday, November 23, 2015 at 6:04 AM To: John Fleming Subject: [New post] Making the Tough Decisions ­ Part 4, Being Clear on Your Convictions

    WordPress.com Michael Perry posted: “In my last post we discussed the need to courageously face the brutal facts and resist the temptation to “bend the map”. So, for leaders, the obvious follow-up question’s are: Where do we find this courage? What’s the solid foundation we can plant “

    November 23, 2015
    • Hey John,

      Great feedback and input. Thanks for joining the discussion (and helping me prepare for my workshop). When you think about it being clear on your values and beliefs is really the first step in being a good leader, which means being able to make the hard decisions. Without this step it’s like leadership built on sand, very risky and when the storms (hard decisions) come up, and they will, the house is likely to get swept away.

      Go Blue!

      November 24, 2015

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