Are You Trying to Grow your Leaves Without the Roots? Try this Instead

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, wrote in his book Onward about his return as CEO of the company during a time of economic instability and immense challenges in the company. In the book he said: “Stick to your values, they are your foundation.” He said this in relation to finding, articulating and staying the course in rebuilding Starbucks.

What role do Values have in life? How can they really make a difference when there is always so much to do and so very little time to do it in?

Stephen R. Covey, in his book Principle Centered Leadership, wrote: “from the principles comes wisdom, guidance, power and security to guide you in your relationship with self, family, possessions, work, pleasure, money, enemy, fitness, faith. “ He later wrote: “…to have response-ability and account-ability you have to know who you are and where you want to go.”

And the acclaimed Auschwitz survivor and renowned psychologist Victor Frankl wrote in his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning: “Where conditioning processes have replaced self-transcendence, and meaning and values are denied, manipulation is born.”

Principles and Values have great import in our lives. It’s time to expose them for the great stability, joy, and foundation they give to our lives. What are your core Values? Think of one of them now.
• How does it impact your life?
• From whom did you inherit or receive or model this Value?
• What is important about this Value to you?
• How has this value come to play in your life? Perhaps it was when you needed to make a decision about a relationship, a career move, or how to have a sensitive conversation about a critical or sensitive subject with a friend or loved one.

But we are pushed to quick decisions so we can strike another action, duty, responsibility or decision off the list. Impatience overrides wisdom and expediency overrides understanding. Once again the exalted Value is cast aside in favor of the quick answer. You may have seen that this can lead to unintended consequences that are more challenging to unwind.

Our values/principles/core beliefs have to be part of an intentional life as they form the foundation of success. Howard Schultz recognized the essential nature of this as did Stephen Covey and Victor Frankl. And to drive the point home I will quote from Stephen Covey again, who in the book I mentioned earlier, simply yet profoundly wrote: “To focus on personality before character is to try to grow the leaves without the roots.”

Let me know what you have discovered or remembered about the importance of your Values. I would love to know.

And if you want some help in knowing what your core Values are email grace@focusandsustain.com who will follow up with you to see how we can help you uncover the core of who you are.

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