Leadership 101: Understanding Value

May 5, 2015

 

The concept of "value" is nearly always at the root of most individual or organizational conflict, but why?  

Because whatever it is, "value" seems to fluctuate constantly no matter where, when, why, how or upon whom it is seemingly applied. Many seem to intensely invest in defining what the variable idea "value" means.  And, insistence on establishing a fixed meaning for an inherently variable concept is a key source of individual and organizational tension, confusion and conflict.

So, "value" is variable and yet so very much seems to depend upon it.  The health of a project, of a team, of a company, of an economy, even of a local, state, or national government all depend upon measurements and assessments of "value."  That's a big responsibility for such an unstable concept.

But what about "value" when it comes to leadership?  Because "value" is such an unstable concept, occupying a very specific and highly subjective, entirely temporary moment of time, it cannot be helpful to anyone, let alone a leader, as any form of self judgment.  

It's nature being fleeting, any value assessment must be taken in the context of the scene from which it was derived.  But scenes come and go, their subjective nature and impermanence being their only reliable features.  

A true leader, therefore, understands that while extrinsic value measurements and assessments are always variable, their intrinsic value or self-worth as a person is NOT.  This type of leader will naturally extend their intrinsic sense of personal value to those for and among whom their support and service is required.  And, that is being a real leader.

Perhaps the rarest commodity on Earth is a calm mind.  A leader that understands their intrinsic personal value has the required awareness to be that calm mind.  A calm mind is a reliable inspiration to others while an uncertain or emotionally volatile mind is simply not a source of assurance for anyone including that so called leader.  If a so called leader has neither a sense of their intrinsic self worth (that is never at the expense of another), or an active self-correcting mechanism to return their mind to the calm sanity reflective of that immeasurable self-worth, they have no business pretending to be a leader.

Q:  What about Performance Evaluations, are you saying that they are useless?
A:  No.  I am saying that their source and value are subjective and temporary, respectively.  If it is helpful to learn and change because of feedback, then do it.  But, remember that change only occurs at the mind level yet one cannot change one's mind by changing one's behavior.  To change then, one's identity and related "values" must be understood and, subsequently, unlearned.

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