Value Immersion, Value Steering… Why?

Have you been thinking about these concepts since I shared them earlier in the week? I hope so, for if you forge ahead with either one of them — and yes, you can do both at the same time — you’re choosing to employ values for the tremendous help and support they are.

Let’s back up a bit and review why value alignment may be tugging at you in the first place. Why can’t you stop thinking about this?

At the heart of the matter:

Values drive behavior. We do stuff because we believe in it, and we resist or refuse when we don’t. You can’t, and won’t pass Go if you don’t buy in.

Your personally held values put you on automatic pilot; they’re already strong, steady and sure. They make you sprint past Go because those particular beliefs have miles of proven experience behind them already, and you don’t need any pit stops to refuel.

In a business, value immersion and value steering will serve as refueling for what you signed up to do, and as a leader you’re making that pit stop much more interesting. You’re also pulling in those people in your organization you need to be on board: Their Go has been on a different game board even though they’re supposed to be on your team.

Lexus Adventure 0938

There are 2 primary reasons you opt for value immersion (valuing the how-to of everything) and/or value steering (valuing the what-and-why of specific projects):

  1. You want to make a stand with a particular value.
  2. You want your team to learn more about a particular value, so they can grow.

So if you’re still thinking about these two concepts, you want to do these things (managing better), and you know you need to (leading better.) — you’re the one ready to grow!

Make a Stand

There are certain things that shouldn’t be up for negotiation in any business. If you don’t choose what you stand for, your business won’t have much an identity. It won’t make anything very meaningful: Vision and mission are all about taking a stand, and doing so very passionately.

This all starts with the values the founders of a company believe in, and wear on their sleeve constantly because they take a stand for them. They do so knowing that they are driving effective, and unifying behaviors for their people. When people “left behind a legacy” they’ve left behind value-mapping; what we’ll more commonly call “a culture that lives on without them.”

Learn More

There must be growth in a business, even within one possessing a strong and clear legacy and culture. Alaka‘i Managers don’t want a workplace filled with robots or lab rats, they gain their personal reward from growing their people and watching them succeed and thrive.

So what does that mean, “growing their people?”

The definition I like in our workplace context, is that it means making space for more people to share in our business’s entrepreneurial spirit. To really share a business with founders, people must feel they do more than cooperate for a paycheck. More even, than collaborating for profit sharing. The ‘more’ is making space for true authorship. Think of it as sequels to the legacy. For that to happen, there must be room to grow (and sincere permission).

In the Go box, fueling this entire process, is learning. People can adopt a value they didn’t even realize was important to them before; they can begin to believe in it. When you introduce value immersion and value steering to your workplace, you’re being the Mea Ho‘okipa leading the way.

Red poles. Red door. Right arrow.

Related Managing with Aloha reading:

To review Value Immersion and Value Steering first, read: Value Alignment for Projects

  1. The beliefs held when you have a Calling for Management: Reprise: The 10 Beliefs of Alaka‘i Managers
  2. A preview of the book: The Core 21 Beliefs of Managing with Aloha
  3. Book has been read, and you want another framework of study: Learning Managing with Aloha: 9 Key Concepts
  4. Where do you fit in? Are you a manager or leader? (Link goes to Say Leadership Coaching)
  5. Mission, Vision, and Values… how do they mesh in great businesses? The Healthy Workplace Compass (Also at Say Leadership Coaching)