What do my values have to do with my career?

16th September 2013

A few months ago, a friend of mine passed along a copy of the book Remarkable!, but with a stack of summer reading by my side (sorry Kevin, Divergent sucked me in far too quickly), it sat by my bedside … until last week. During a quarterly client meeting with Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A’s VP of Marketing, and also the book’s co-author, David Salyers, gave each of our agency partners a copy and shared a presentation on some of the book’s core tenants as it related to the business.

On a cross country flight this weekend, I packed it in my bag determined to get started. I finished the book before we landed. One of the book’s tenants really struck a chord with me and it was the nature of values.

Typically, we define values as things like kindness or honesty, however, David and Randy Ross define values as the impact made on a person’s thoughts, beliefs, decision-making processes and performance.


The interesting twist, which the authors also point out, is that in order to be our most successful, our work and personal values almost always converge. The exercise certainly got me thinking about what I might define as my own values. I hope these tenants (and others) are ones that I can consciously bring to bettering my work and personal relationships.

1. Having a balance between work and personal life

For me personally, I don’t thrive under 14 hour workdays. I work really well when I can work average days at the office, take a break and get back to it for a period of time at night if possible. I know that in order to produce my best work, I need an environment that encourages me to be myself outside of the office and stay focused for core periods of time.

2. The opportunity to communicate and build relationships with others

While I would certainly categorize myself as a competitive person, I try really hard to focus on building up those around me before myself. It’s certainly not an easy task sometimes, as our natal reaction as humans will always be selfishness. However, I thrive in an organization where camaraderie and collaboration are core tenants. You never know the day someone is having or the difference a small vote of confidence can make. For this reason, I know roles which allow me to work closely with others in strategy, planning or account management would be the best fits for me in the agency world.

3. Positivity

This one might sound silly, who doesn’t value positivity? I value my ability to maintain good relationships and a structure where relationships trump results. The funny thing is, I find if you treat people well and approach problems with a positive attitude, they often work harder, spend more or come back more frequently, which ultimately leads to better results.

What are your values? If you spend any time thinking on the topic (or reading the book), I’d love to hear your thoughts.


DISCLOSURE: Chick-fil-A is a client of Engauge, however all thoughts represented are my own and are not necessarily a reflection of Engauge or Chick-fil-A.