When Your Values Shift

When Your Values Shift

Everyone knows how important it is to “know yourself,” yet how often do we reflect on why we do what we do? (Or for that matter, what we did?) Do we really understand our motives and values? Before we even graduate from high school, most of us have participated in interest inventories and career aptitude tests. By the time we graduate from college, our interests, studies, and skills have aligned. We anticipate we’re on a path best suited for our personality, talents, and education. And yet…most of us don’t recognize the extent of our complexity. Our personal preferences and unique sense of values are buried under layers of expectations and demands. To add to the complexity, our values shift over time. When we identify as, or claim to be, a specific type of person (kind, caring, and genuine), but our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors indicate otherwise (we are resentful, rude, and just want other people to fall into line), we may be unaware of our true values.    Of course, we are quick to notice when we see this happen in others. Our perception may be that they are inauthentic, manipulative, or fake; maybe even a hypocrite. When our own behaviors are incongruent with what we claim to value, many of us have a physical reaction: a twinge, cringe, or moment when our body says, “no!” But just as common, we learn to ignore these uncomfortable feelings. Eventually, we stop paying attention. We become mistaken about our own identity, unaware of the shift in our values. This can manifest in a mid-career crisis. Our careers are moving along at...
Leadership in the Time of Disruption

Leadership in the Time of Disruption

In the past decade, we’ve seen remarkable innovations and extraordinary technological advancements change the way we live, play, and conduct business. Today, anyone with a smartphone has access to general artificial intelligence. We can easily manage everyday tasks (Google Assistant), send money (Venmo), travel about town (autonomous taxis in some U.S. cities), and answer our doors—from anywhere (Ring). In the world of sports, racing sailboats have gone from large, single wooden hulls to aerodynamic vessels of flight. Their once canvas sails are now wings that carry the team on two or three small hydro-foils faster than the speed of wind. Simulators and virtual reality are now a part of learning and training. Organizations have become data-driven cultures, led by Chief Data Officers, who work with data scientists and computers that process hundreds of hypothetical questions and answers. And incredibly, we’re just getting started. The most notable innovations are the direct result of disruptors: leaders who changed the game. They transformed existing markets (or created new ones) by focusing on convenience, simplicity, accessibility, or affordability. Disruptive leaders learned to innovate more quickly, cheaply, and with less risk. But this is no easy feat, especially in today’s accelerated environment. For many, disruption causes anxiety, fear, and leads to disruption fatigue. Ignoring the problem, or worse, feeding the fear, are not real solutions. Leadership in the time of disruption calls for a two-prong approach: improving current product performance and developing new disruptive technology. In many cases, starting, re-tooling, and scaling a business is easier than ever before. But achieving and maintaining success is another matter. While rapid innovation and new technologies allow...