Journal 1: Core Values Exercise and Response to Questions
One thing that I learned about myself by completing the values inventory is that my values describe my desire to triumph in life. This entails overcoming all obstacles and becoming a great leader in the future. My values show the extent of my optimism and how I wish to use all the available resources to become successful. I realized that my main objective was to make proper decisions in life and avoid making mistakes or getting into trouble. This became evident when selecting the most appropriate values that describe me the best way. However, I was surprised that I could not make an immediate decision about my correct values. It was not easy for me to point out my next ideal even after selecting the former ones successfully. It is clear that "we don't know how to make decisions well" (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa 3). This is a significant reasoning for the complexity I encountered when completing the values inventory.
I believe that I can have a different set of values for my personal life and public life. However, I do not agree that everyone is influenced by merely one set of values. Allowing each person to be affected by only one set of values is limiting. Mainly, I believe that true values are inspired by both personal and public inclinations. This is because there are many instances where one can hold values that suit people in the society, his/her family members, friends or other individuals. On the one hand, I would like to lead a life that does not reflect my public life, but a personal life that makes me happy. On the other hand, I will hold public values when required to do so and still comet back to my personal values when possible. However, it is also not good to derive personal values on account of selfish and self-seeking objectives. This distorts the essence of values riveted on personal life. "Objectives are very personal, but they need not be self-centered" (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa 29). Besides, a wise person will search for a balance between personal and public life values.
The values I identified in the exercise are connected to thinking critically. This is considering that they encompass all the guiding principles of life. For example, balance gives me a chance to remain steady even when presented with numerous responsibilities, such as family and official ones. This helps me avoid paying too much attention to one activity whereas, at the same time, abandoning another one. Spirituality helps me work within strong religious and spiritual beliefs, which boost my personal energy and prevent uncertainty in life. For example, I cannot take other people's spirituality or religious beliefs for granted if I understand the value of spirituality. I can also make independent decisions, which is critical, as it helps me save time when adopting and implementing ideas. With leadership values, I can come up with solid decisions and foster the right business solutions. People learn new things through an active process that matches well the value of personal growth. In this regard, I can set my goals and move my limits forward to achieve them. Ultimately, responsibility makes me accountable for my actions, for example, I must conduct proper research before implementing new ideas.
Values affect the way leaders treat their fellow leaders and their subordinates, including how they make their decisions. They take leadership roles that entail directing and managing a team. However, with the values, they integrate other essential alternatives into the decisions they make, for an all-inclusive outcome, where everyone feels appreciated or consulted. Values make leaders search for alternatives by thinking critically and seeking the input of others to get additional perspectives (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa 51). My values impact my decisions and leadership practice in a variety of ways. Mainly, they shape my reasoning, including controlling my leadership skills and decision-making approaches. In particular, I ensure that I implement decisions that reflect the desires, views, beliefs and opinions of the team members even if it means acting as a servant leader. For example, I would allow a team member to skip two days of work and attend religious services, which apparently made him/her even more loyal to the company. Later on, this employee would readily sacrifice his/her weekend to work for the missed time without complaints.
I believe that my values have transformed over some time. First of all, with time, I have learned a lot about arriving at smart choices. I have comprehended the essence of values and their impact on leadership and decision making. I also believe that there are instances where some values act as hindrances rather than essential leads for alternatives in decision making. Sometimes, it is important to "look at an apparently routine problem" in a completely new and creative way (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa 17). Moreover, the main objective of having values in life is to help people make proper choices and decisions. However, when there is a barrier in this process, then achieving this goal becomes difficult. For example, I have realized that we are not obliged to become leaders to make proper decisions. Similarly, spirituality may act as a barrier to decision making, for example, the dilemma of fulfilling personal religious views at the expense of selling a religiously forbidden product that is on demand. This is the main reason why my values have changed with time.
In conclusion, making smart choices is a process that one must learn. Such choices are influenced significantly by values that every human being must have. These values help leaders come up with solid and dependable decisions, which entails searching for possible alternatives. However, it is clear that there are instances where one must change the rules and evade the values that may harm the process of making appropriate decisions. This is what truly means to make smart choices in life. These findings are invaluable in my leadership practice because they help me understand the essence of making smart choices in life. Furthermore, they help me avoid faltering as a leader when facing different hindrances.