Today is my eleventh wedding anniversary. On the surface, my anniversary has nothing to do with leadership. But, let me take you back approximately thirteen years…
Girl and Boy attend the same graduate school. Girl and Boy only communicate on an “as needed basis.” Girl and Boy are invited to interview out-of-state with the same local government. Girl and Boy are forced to communicate and suddenly realize they share a lot of the same core values. Girl and Boy live happily ever after.
While this is a major summarization of our relationship, the point is that my husband and I share the same core values. Not unlike others, a large number of people in service industries, such as local government, chose a partner who is either also in government or a like service-related industry (education, medical, social services, etc). I believe that is because (generally speaking) service is a core value to those in government and those with a passion to serve look for others to serve with them.
Without the “Girl and Boy forced communication,” my husband and I may not have realized our shared values. In organizations, leaders have many avenues to share the core values with their employees. However, at home, how do we share our core values with our families? (Tweet This)
Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families, suggests that families should develop an operating system that helps communicate their shared values to their children. To define your family’s core values, he lists four questions to ask your family:
- What words best describe our family?
- What is most important to our family?
- What are our strengths as a family?
- What sayings best capture our family?
Just as we discussed last week, when difficulties arise, your core values can guide your organization…and your family. Whether you are a family of one or twenty, traditional or non-traditional, consider gathering those that comprise your family unit and discuss what it means to be your family. Then, further define those answers into family core values. When difficult times arise from the toddler tantrums, complexities of teenagers, or the stress of finances, careers, and marriage, you can turn to your core values to be your guide.
In closing, read through the Feiler Family Core Values – I hope they inspire you to consider leading at home as you do in your organization and develop family core values.
Executive Search Manager