As an intellectually curious person who values personal growth and development, building and managing a wealth management firm has been a significant refining process for me, both as an individual and in team settings. I think of the process as a sort of paint canvas that can be used to highlight strengths and work through areas needing improvement. While I could choose to accept or even ignore weaknesses, I consistently step into and work on them instead.

One such weakness, I had uncovered was my company’s value statement, although filled with the practical and emotionless values that are a part of virtually every company: no one on our team could remember more than one of the five or six on the list when asked.

This was a problem.

My team and I have discovered the power of aligning our business strategy with our core values. In essence, that alignment begins by answering this question:

What do we believe in?

Yes, the “standard” values of good business are important and a central part of our culture, but they do not define who we are, they do not give us clear direction, and they do not create energy. Our company’s unique core values are the source of our identity and all that we do.

Similarly, in our personal lives, we often need to take time to stop and ask ourselves – what do we believe in? What is important to us? These questions help to establish our personal core values.

I define “core values” as your unique operating system, kind of like the DNA in every cell of your body that regulates how your body functions. Core values are hard-wired – they define, in a very real sense, who you are and where you thrive. Many of our natural tendencies and talents spring from our core values.

Understanding your values will:

  • Unlock an amazing amount of energy and focus
  • Provide a critical lens for decision making
  • Attract opportunities (and people) to you with similar values
  • Have the power to repel opportunities (and people) that don’t align with you and your purpose
  • Allow for the alignment of your values to your life and increased fulfillment

Core values are critically important, sometimes hard to grasp, and a grey area for many people. I’ve found that through the process of discovering our values, we can recognize deep truths about ourselves and begin to understand how our money and our values align.