Learn to make the hard choices in life
__Who are you?
This week I faced at least one very hard decision. I am sure many of you did, too. Whether a key decision you make could impact millions of people, billions of dollars, your own family, or maybe your own career path, you have to stop and ask yourself at least one core question (which at some points in your life could be harder to answer than at other times):
__Is this decision in line with my values?
In business we talk about both "value" in a financial sense, and "values" related to corporate governance and vision (also the company's impact on the lives it touches). Today I am speaking about "values" at the heart of who we (say) we are as individuals, and also in the work that we do.
You might be 18 years old, or a few short years from 30, like I am. You might be a student, a village elder, a sports star, a newly-minted lawyer, a #LionessMom, or aspire to lead the biggest business in Africa, or on earth...
We all have hard decisions along the journey of our life. You yourself might be deciding now whether to move to a new country, to buy a car with debt, or even to stop doing something you really love because it takes so much time from other things you must prioritize.
I often think of something President Obama said not so long ago: "Hard things are hard." I am sure every last one of you here knows exactly what he meant. Yes, they are...
__But if you know what you stand for, if you know your core values, hard things will remain hard, but the decisions will be easier...
What do I mean here by values?
Many of you know, but I will give you just one example from a company website in one of my favorite countries. It starts like this:
"Our Values" (which they have in uppercase letters)
"At RwandAir we value:
Surpass customer expectations of services by continuously improving and innovating products as well as service delivery...
To maintain an inclusive working environment that embraces new ideas, change, respect for the individual and equal opportunity to realize one's potential."
I just pulled out a few to give you an example. This is what RwandAir wants you to know it "stands for" as a company. The other five values it lists are: safety and environment; integrity; corporate social responsibility; profitability and accountability.
These are corporate "values." Now let's look at values in a little different way:
__If you put together a "You" website, do you know what the "My Values" section would say?
You don't have to tell me here. I just want you to ask yourself the question. If you know your own values, this will definitely help you make some of the hard decisions in your life.
Now I want you to start thinking about a big homework assignment I will give you shortly. It won't be today, but soon.
I am going to ask you to tell me what you have learned here on this platform that we have shared together over the past years. How has it helped you and your business? Were there a few particularly important lessons you learned along the way? I really look forward to reading about your journey, and how our conversations made a difference, whether big or small.
First things first though: Do you know who you are?
To be continued.....