How to Keep Your Goals on Track? Values.
How to Keep Your Goals on Track? Values.
What goals are you moving toward this year? Wouldn’t it feel good to be on track to achieve those goals, fulfill your mission and move toward the vision you’ve set? Chances are, as a leader, you won’t be alone on this journey.
Every one of us needs the help of others to realize our goals.
Jesus also looked to His disciples to continue the work He started (Matthew 28:18-20), and said they would do even greater works than He did (John14:12). But he also gave them non-negotiable criteria when He said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
So what exactly are you asking your supporters to do? And what are the guidelines they are to follow?
How do you, and those who are with you, know if you’re on or off track?
If leadership is about influencing the thinking, behavior or development of others (as defined by Lead Like Jesus), then you need to be crystal clear about your Vision, Mission, and Values.
- Do you have an image or picture of the future you feel compelled to create? What will it look like if things are running as planned? This is your Vision.
- Can you clearly articulate your purpose? Every day you wake up, is it clear what you need to do? This is your Mission.
- Have you defined what matters most? Is it clear what you stand for? These are your Values.
An analogy might help put all of this into perspective.
A Driving Analogy
An analogy that helps clarify Vision, Mission, and Values is one most are familiar with: driving a vehicle along a road toward a destination.
Consider the following imagery:
- Vision is the horizon (like the sun setting behind the mountains). It outlines where you are headed.
- Mission is the road (and rarely a straight one). It defines the pathway that leads to the vision.
- Values are the rumble strips (along the edges of the road). They keep everyone alert to ensure they stay on the road.
But it’s the last one, regarding values that many ignore or don’t take the time to implement. That’s why it often takes a bit of time before realizing something’s off track.
Values keep you awake.
When rumble strips have been installed along a road, drivers are jolted awake if they begin to wander. This simple invention provides the visual cues (markers) and sensation (rumble strips) to alert drivers when they are being inattentive or careless.
In the same way, a breach of stated values should alert everyone of potential danger, especially leaders. Someone has been inattentive or careless.
Consider a Biblical example, where Apostle Paul referred to the value of peace in his letter to the Philippians:
“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
When we suddenly find that we, or one of our supporters, are missing the wonderful peace of God, it’s a clear indication – like the rumble strip on the road – that we have wandered away from Him. It’s time to immediately turn back to God in prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6).
Now let’s apply this to our current goals, and the supporters we trust and rely on to help us.
Picking and Prioritizing Your Values
Let’s say you have defined your vision, mission and goals, and what are missing are your values. Where should you begin?
Here are 3-steps to help you pick and prioritize your values to help achieve your goals:
- First, look through a list of values and select ones that support your strengths, are relevant to your mission and vision, and easily sustainable. Use the list provided by Lead Like Jesus, or contact us and we’d be happy to share a list of curated values and their meanings we’ve developed (Robert.Lori@LeadershipCouples.com). Note: we suggest a maximum of 3 to 4 values.
- Second, rank-order your values so that your top value is truly your #1 value, and second value is truly #2, and so on for each of your values. This will then be of tremendous help for decision-making. If a decision or action does not support your top value, no need to consider the rest: it’s not a good decision. While not all decisions might support all of your selected values, they absolutely need to support your top 1 or 2 values.
- Third, use your values to correct behavior when you and/or others wander onto the rumble strips. Values are an important tool to re-align everyone to the vision and mission.
Together with your mission, a few well-defined values will help you and your supporters make decisions to stay on track – and fulfill your stated goals.