Winning Others Using Your Values
|February 19, 2016||Posted by Assegid under Leadership, Personal Story, Self Awareness, Self Management, Success, Updates, Values & Character||
I’ve been a student of values
In the past more than one decade, I’ve been a student of values. As vice chairman of research department of a political part back home in Ethiopia, I still remember drafting a concept paper in 2002 that was aimed at elaborating the core values of our party. I had also a very productive discussion in 2006 with a leader of a multinational corporation; I was working for, about its values. Since 2008, I’ve been providing workshops, mentoring programs, and consulting to help my clients understand the power of values, and how to harness this power in their favor.
When and why I decided to write about values
I’ve been drafting, in the past couple of years, a manuscript about values. The impetus to write a book came in 2013 following my presentation on the theme “Values-focused Consulting” for members of the Association for Talent Development- ATD (formerly known as ASTD) Maryland Chapter Consulting SIG in March 2013. Beyond my expectation, the discussion was lively, interactive, and dynamic. The feedbacks were very encouraging. Many of the participants, who are experienced consultants, enjoyed the discussion. Some of them, after the meeting, came up to me and encouraged me to take this message to other groups. For that matter, I produced a four-session TV program at Ethiopian Satellite TV and Radio (ESAT) in 2014 based on values. The interview with Dr. Bob Krone, the co-Founder and President of Kepler Space University, and Emeritus Professor of Systems Management at the University of Southern California, concluded the program.
The book should be out by the end of this year, or even earlier than that. I’ll definitely keep you posted my progress, and hope you could be able to attend the book signing. The good news is that, in the meantime, I’ll share with you some of the insights, stories, and tools from the manuscript. In this blog, I’d like to talk about how you can use values to win others.
Values are crucial to win voters
2016 is Presidential election year; thus, let me give you some data to show you how values are crucial to win voters. In general, in those countries where there is democracy, people tend to vote for those candidates with whom they share key values. That is why the same candidate is loved by some and hated by other voters depending on his values. For instance, on February 2 2016, Fox News Channel reported, “According to entrance polling of Republican caucus-goers conducted by Fox News, Cruz won by garnering the support of evangelical Christians and those who wanted a candidate who shares their values.” The majority of voters, conscious or unconscious, rally for a candidate that shares their highly held values. And Caucus-goers weren’t exceptional.
The same news also observed, “Sanders overwhelmed Clinton among caucus-goers under 30, a group that he won 84 percent to 14 percent.” Similarly in New Hampshire, many polls showed that 85% of young people under 30 voted for Sanders. Why do you think Bernie overwhelmed Clinton in that age group?
Do you remember the Occupy Wall Street movement in the late 2011? I still picture in my mind those youngsters wearing the “99%” t-shirts occupying the Zuccotti park in New York City, Wall Street financial district, to protest the economic inequality in the US. When they were cleared from the park, they moved to occupy major banks, corporate HQs, and college and university campuses. The initial key players of that group were young guys in their 20’s. Of course, later, these youngsters inspired older people to join the movement.
The dominant value that attracted and glued the group together was fairness. The movement, slowly but surely, died because of so many reasons. Now, it seems that those young guys who felt their cause was crushed found Sanders who has been a unique candidate that positioned himself as a fighter against the one percent billionaires and bankers.
Smart politicians and enlightened voters understand the power of values
Smart politicians understand the critical roles values play. That is why they go out to study and understand the values of their constituency to earn their votes and supports. By the same token, enlightened voters are also those who don’t give their votes to those politicians who fake it during campaign. But rather, those who vote for candidates that are truly committed to those shared values long after the election is over. That is why some politicians once elected, change course, and say and do things against the values of their constituency, for which they had vowed to fight for. This is especially true if a politician is in her final term, and finds herself no need to campaign for another term.
Let me ask you:
- Are you a Democrat or Republican or Independent?
- Why did you choose to join the party?
- For whom are you going to vote during the primary and in November?
- Why do you vote for him/her?
My answers to the aforementioned questions
Please write down the answers of the above questions. It won’t be fair if I exempt myself from being quizzed. Therefore, let me quickly provide my responses. I’m a democrat. You may wonder because of which value (s) I decided to become a Democrat. This is a valid question. I share some values with the Republican Party but I share more values with the Democratic Party. One of the values that swayed me to join the Democratic Party is diversity. You may have different values than mine and you may also be a Republican. It’s okay. The goal here is to self-evaluate and discover which values dictated which party we should join.
Nonetheless, so far, I’ve not decided for whom I should vote.
I like Hilary. Electing her, as a President, is going to be historic- the first woman President of the US. But, Freedom is one of my values. I’m worried that if she gets elected, she may continue Obama’s policies that favor dictators in Africa. For that reason, I am not yet ready to vote for her.
Bernie Sanders is authentic, and sometimes maverick. I admire such a personality. But again, I’m a strong supporter of market economy and entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, Bernie is an extreme leftist, promoting social democratic ideologies that undermine market economy and entrepreneurship.
Any ways, we are at the early stage of this year’s Presidential election. We don’t know who is going to win in November. Whoever wins, however, it is because enough Americans share him/her values.
Values to win clients and team members
I’m not here to talk about politics except to use the above stories as background to show you how values are vital to win others. In this article, my target audiences are leaders and business owners. My goal is to demonstrate on how they could use values to win clients and team members.
- What have you learned from this article, which you haven’t prior to reading this article?
- How do you plan to translate these lessons into improving your personal life, career, and business?
Values matter in life, business, and national affairs
In conclusion, values matter more than we’re willing to admit. They matter not just in politics. Not only they dictate for whom we vote during elections, but also how we lead our life, run our business, and organization. We should be aware of the fact that people take into accounts our values before they make decisions. Decisions like whether they should become our supporters, partners, and clients. That is why we should invest our time, energy, and resources to discover, define, communicate, and refine our values. We need to make conscious and intentional efforts.
If you’re a business owner and leader, you should pay closer attention to your values, and use them to reach out to those clients and teammates who share yours. You should use values as your competitive advantages to distinct yourself and business from your competitors.
If you may have any question or need my help in using values to win others, don’t hesitate to contact me.