Clarifying Your Core Values

Values

 

A key element of “knowing thyself” is sorting out what’s really important to you. Without a clear sense of your personal principles and priorities, it’s almost impossible to bring the picture of your preferred future sharply into focus. Investing the time and effort to uncover and articulate your personal principles has many important benefits.

You’ll have a strong foundation to build your leadership upon. James Kouzes and Barry Posner’s study of credible and effective leaders led them to conclude, “Values are directly relevant to credibility. To do what we say we will do (our respondents’ behavioral definition of credibility), we must know what we want to do and how we wish to behave. That’s what our values help us to define.”

Clear personal principles give you a much stronger sense of your personal “bottom-line.” Knowing where you stand clarifies what you won’t sit still for.

It’s easier to make choices between conflicting opportunities that arise, where to invest your time, what behavior is most appropriate, and where you need to concentrate your personal improvement efforts.

You’ll be much closer to finding your personal energy source and developing that critical leadership passion.

Your self-identity, self-confidence, and sense of security will be strengthened.

Your principles will provide the stable and solid core you need to transform the rapid changes coming at all of us from terrifying threats into exciting opportunities.

You can more clearly see to what extent your personal values are aligned with your team and organization’s values.

To clarify your core values, develop a comprehensive list of all your possible values. Now rank each one as “A” (high importance), “B” (medium importance), “C” (low importance). Review your A and B values. Are there any that you feel are essentially the same value or one is an obvious subset of the other? If so, bring them together and rename it if necessary. Rank order the remaining list from highest through to lowest priority. You should now have your top five core values.

FOCUSING ON YOUR CORE VALUES:

Ask yourself whether these are your true, internal “bone deep” beliefs or an external “should” value. We often don’t recognize a lifetime of conditioning that has left us with other people’s belief systems. Replace any “should” values with your own.

Examine each core value to ensure that it is your end value and not a means to some other end. For example, wealth is seldom a value in itself. It’s usually the means to status, power, security, recognition, freedom, accomplishment, pleasure, helping others, or some other end value.

Write out a “statement of philosophy” that outlines and explains each of your core values. This is for you own private use, so be as honest and candid as you can.

These exercises are rarely done quickly. It could take you dozens or even hundreds of hours to sort through the “shouldas”, “oughtas” and “couldas” and get to your basic, core principles. The more meditation, contemplation, and writing time you put into this, the truer and more energizing your core values will become.

“VALUING” YOUR LIFE AND OTHERS

Your values largely affect how you behave and how others perceive
you. Identifying them is important to understanding what makes you effective, satisfied and personally successful. Once you are aware of the dominant attitudes contributing passion and purpose to your life, you will be able to clarify what drives your actions, as well as what causes conflict. For example, if you are currently questioning whether you are in the right career, knowing your attitudes will help you decide. In addition, applying an understanding of attitudes to your relationships with others will deepen your appreciation of them and clarify the “why” of your interactions.

Another way to learn more about your “values” which are your intrinsic motivators, you can take an assessment. To learn how visit http://www.thejenksgroup.com or call 858 525-3163.

 

The Jenks Group Hones Skills of Top Executives with US SEALs Training

 US Navy SEALs teach executives

 

—It’s not easy to get, and hold, the attention of a busy executive. But the Jenks Groups, Inc. (TJGI), a boutique strategic services consulting firm in Solana Beach, CA, has developed a program that’s hard to ignore: they employ US Navy SEALs—and weapons—to educate and sharpen the tactical skills of senior executives. In a one-of-a-kind experience called “Strategic Operations Skills Training” (S.O.S.T.™), seasoned executives participate in physically and mentally challenging exercises that provide them with a fresh outlook and renewed traction toward achieving their corporate goals.

Four years in the making, The Jenks Group’s program uses a realistic battlefield on a San Diego TV/movie studio lot to instill six “game-changing” skills into an executive’s arsenal. State-of-the-art Hollywood special effects heighten the experience for S.O.S.T. participants.

In developing their program, TJGI founding principal Sharon Jenks studied the characteristics that made some executives successful while others struggled. “Far and above any other specific trait, the ability to execute on assigned initiatives is what separated those who are extremely successful from those who struggle,” she says. “What we determined is that there are hard skills that can be taught—and more importantly, managed—that turn mediocre into movement.”

One of the challenges, she realized, was in educating and motivating senior executives to manage the change that’s required to move a company forward. “Once someone is engaged for a few years, they tend to settle into a routine that delivers a predictable outcome, and that’s good,” she says. “The downside is that in settling into that routine, they also deliver a routine outcome. Our S.O.S.T. program helps break up the logjam and offers the executive participant an opportunity to learn new skills that provide different perspectives.”

Over the course of one or two days, executive groups participate in intensive physical and mental exercises to acquire six skills modeled on successful US Navy SEALs strategies. “If you want to meet a team of the most highly trained task-to-mission experts in the world,” says Jenks, “those would be our US Navy SEALs instructors. They are top drawer game-changers.” The skills learned in field exercises are subsequently debriefed in the classroom. “There’s absolutely no other program out there like this,” emphasizes Ed Jenks, principal and senior strategist for TJGI. “It’s hands-on experiential and backs up the exercises with game-changing lessons that tie directly back to the C-suite.”

One executive who took advantage of an opportunity to preview the program said it redefined for him the importance of good communication during high-stress activities. “It was pretty amazing,” said Jim Canfield, CEO of Renaissance Executive Forums. “I think what it does is allow you to feel what it really feels like when you’re in the middle of split-second decision making.” The experience also underscored the value of team unification in order to achieve mission success. It was critical, he found, while negotiating a simulated battlefield, to “make sure the whole team knows what we’re trying to accomplish, that everybody knows their part.”

The S.O.S.T. program may not be for everyone. The training manual warns that it’s “an aggressive, experiential exercise that can carry some bumps and bruises along the learning path not to mention incredibly fun.” But for those executives seeking to drive their management team’s performance, The Jenks Group and a few US Navy SEALs have some game-changing ammunition.

About Strategic Operations Skills Training (S.O.S.T.)

S.O.S.T.™ is an experiential educational program designed to train executive teams in six “game-changing” hard skills. The program runs over one or two days and those days may be split over the course of three to six months. Each skill builds on the last and increases in intensity as the physical, intellectual, emotional and sometimes spiritual challenges become more apparent. Skills learned in field exercises are subsequently debriefed in the classroom for takeaway traction back to the executive suite. The program can be scaled for relevancy and specificity to divisional areas, and can be tailored to meet the needs and expectations unique to each organization. For more information, please visit www.sosttraining.com.

HOW WE CAN ALL CONTEMPLATE THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE

HOW WILL WE THINK ABOUT STRESS, GAINING KNOWLEDGE, AND SOFT SKILLS IN THE COMING YEARS?

Throughout my 30 years in the human behavioral assessment industry, I’ve spent countless hours researching soft skills and behavioral styles, motivators, and emotional intelligence—some of the things that makes individuals unique.

It’s become clear to me just how few of us in society are truly able to think into the future. From a neurological standpoint, this is not surprising, as the brain is wired to store past experiences and use them as a library to understand and react to life as we move forward. It is not wired particularly well for projecting future events.

The ability to see past the immediate circumstances of life and envision the future in rich detail is quite rare.

In fact, as a skill, futuristic thinking is exceptional. According to research by TTI Success Insights, less than 3% of the people in the U.S. have some mastery or mastery of this skill. On a 10-point scale, the mean of people who possess futuristic thinking as a developed skill is only 2.8.

future workplace

And yet, you do not have to be a completely futuristic thinker to spend time considering the future of work. Why is this important? Because the workforce is dynamic, constantly changing due to market pressures, demographics, and the move to a more tech-based economy. Staying abreast of potential changes will put you into a stronger, more lithe position to adjust quickly. I see three trends here:

1. THE RISE OF INTANGIBLE WORK

The future of work will entail the continued migration from tangible work, likemanufacturing, to more intangible work throughout the world. In the U.S., for instance, a lot of our manufacturing has gone away and become more automated. We are going to see developing countries follow the U.S. in this trend.

As a result, more soft skills are going to be required in the world of work in the future. Therefore, work is going to become more service-related, more relationship-based. For workers, they are going to have to develop more of these skills to continue to perform at work.

These skills are not curriculum-based; they are not learned in a classroom. They are learned on the job and in life, through activities. So as companies, we are going to have to begin providing more activities as part of work that are going to help us build these skills, like building a team and influencing others.

2. ALWAYS BE LEARNING

Jobs of the future are also going to require continuous learning. Workers must therefore have a positive attitude toward continuous learning and be willing to embrace consistent advancements in the skills they must possess.

For large corporations, the real bottom line of the future of work is that they will have stronger teams, those built on a solid foundation of skill-based learning and have much closer relationships to their customers.

Also, I really believe as work continues to evolve, companies that find success will be those that know how to service their customers. Their customers are the true beneficiaries of this new relationship with the people. Given the rise of technology and social media as the domain of the people—and customer—if companies don’t have those highly developed soft skills, both internally and externally, then one negative brand interaction can go worldwide in a minute, causing severe damage to the brand.

3. STABILIZING THE STRESS FACTOR

The other future trend is in regards to handling stress on the job. Stress management, as part of talent management, is going to be part of the future workforce. As we develop, jobs will be re-engineered to eliminate as much of the negative stress as possible.

While a certain degree of stress adds to workplace efficiency and goal accomplishment, when stress amounts to a negative level and induces feels of being overwhelmed, frustrated and unappreciated, it becomes destructive. That level of stress can lead to burnout.

Those who see the value in fostering their futuristic thinking ability might benefit from these strategies. Find a mentor who is an innovator or thought leader in your industry. Study how they go about making decisions and listen to their thoughts on the future of your industry. Read books, articles and blogs of thought leaders and innovators regularly. Engage in conversations with them. Finally, push yourself to come up with a theory about a future-thinking trend in your industry that may become reality several years from now. Write your theory down. Spend time andenergy developing it. Regardless of if it becomes true, this practice will open up new neural pathways that can help to foster future thinking in your mind.

Exercising your futuristic thinking skills and taking time to ponder the future of work may put you in a stronger position to make the most of new opportunities—even those far in front of you.

Bill J. Bonnstetter is chairman and founder of TTI Success Insights, which believes all people are unique and have talents and skills of which they are often unaware. For over 30 years, TTI SI has researched and applied the Science of Self™ using social and brain science, and created assessment solutions consultants in 90 countries and 40 languages use to hire, develop, and retain the best talent in the world. Find him on Twitter: @bbonnstetter

The Power of “Thank You”

Thank you2

 

Most managers and supervisors know that the single greatest disappointment employees suffer in the workplace is the feeling that their hard work and effort goes unnoticed.  What most managers and supervisors don’t know is that the second greatest disappointment employees have is insincere or inappropriately applied recognition!  Does it seem to you that sometimes you can’t win?!  The fact is you can all win, and here is how you do it.

First, you need to train yourself to constantly be on the look out for someone doing something right.  As managers, we typically spend way too much time dealing with hot spots or trouble issues.  Believe it or not, you have to develop the habit of seeking the good work that’s being done all around you.

Second, take time to visit with your staff when there is not a crisis or a problem to deal with.  Sometimes a quick five minute meeting just to say Hi and let everyone know that they are OK is worth its weight in gold.  If the only time you get together is when something is wrong, how excited are your people when you call a meeting or when they interact with you?  The development of non-crisis interaction time is critical to team development and positive employee moral.

Third, learn the Power Thank You.  For a simple “thank you” to become a powerful, and motivational tool for managers and supervisor’s, simply apply these four basic rules:

  • Be timely. After a few weeks the accomplishment is forgotten.
  • Be specific to something the employee accomplished, a task or goal completed.
  • Acknowledge the effort it took to complete the goal.
  • Address personally the benefits you and the company received as a direct result of this effort.

One of the first things I look for in a President or CEO is how well they know, and then acknowledge, their employees efforts and tasks. A Chief Executive who can not only recognize an employee by name but also by task and accomplishment, well…, that’s a keeper.

Consider this idea in forming a positive habit.

Sometimes we’re busy and we forget about what’s really important.  To remind us to do the right thing, I ask my executives to start their day with three pennies in their right pocket. Every time they offer someone a power thank you, they move a penny to their left.  By the end of the day, all three pennies need to be in that left pocket.”

We spend more daylight hours at our workplace than with our families and friends so it is reasonable to assume that we should do all we can to make our work environment as pleasant as possible.  The Power Thank You is one way to support this philosophy.

Sharon Jenks, CPBA, is CEO of The Jenks Group, a Solana Beach, CA based consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning and executive team development.  Sharon can be reached at sjenks@thejenksgroup.com

Workplace Assessments Are Fair — If They Come With Adverse Impact

assessment

 

 

On Sept. 29, The Wall Street Journal published the article, “Are Workplace Personality Tests Fair?” The article scrutinized the use of “personality” tests and highlighted two accusations of discrimination against a variety of retailers that used various tests as part of a hiring process. The case is under review by the EEOC, which is conducting an investigation of “personality tests,” according to the WSJ article.

Having spent the last three decades in the assessment industry, I am moved to respond.

I applaud the WSJ for taking a closer look at those who provide these sorts of personality tests, particularly those organizations that refuse to comply with federal regulations and provide adverse impact studies. Click here to read our white paper regarding adverse impact and its implications.

These studies are a requirement and best practice for anyone doing business in the assessment realm.

Adverse impact studies provide evidence there is no adverse impact — that no one could be discriminated against — in the use of assessments. It is essential in the assessment industry.

The purpose of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is to enforce (for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners) the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the federal government.

As a company, TTI has been aware of the need for a comprehensive adverse impact study that includes much more than race and gender. That’s why we began collecting data over 10 years ago on 13 additional categories of protected classes in addition to gender.

In 2012, we released our initial adverse impact study findings and encouraged our distributors to share these findings with their clients. We regularly revisit these studies to ensure there is no adverse impact against any group and provide updates to our VAAs and their clients.

There must be more accountability in the assessment industry regarding adverse impact.

Sadly, not all assessment companies invest the time and resources to produce adverse impact studies, nor do they base their instruments on deeper scientific understanding and data. Those who don’t risk the reputation of an industry that seeks to eliminate bias from the hiring process and uplift rather than discriminate against individuals.

As the WSJ article stated — and several of the companies using assessments noted — when implemented according to federal guidelines and using a basis of sound science and research, assessments help to empower all and discriminate against none, creating job match, greater employee happiness and better workplace environments.

Our commitment to integrity and research mandates the use of adverse impact, and we encourage all similar companies to commit to the same.

To answer the WSJ’s primary question: Yes, the use of assessments is fair – but unfortunately too many companies place themselves in jeopardy by not using assessments with robust adverse impact studies and based on additional anti-discriminatory research.

It would be wise of companies to scrutinize the structure of any and all assessments and educate themselves on the methodology of the instrument they are using, as well as demand a current adverse impact study with EEOC and OFCCP compliance.

assessments, behavior, employee engagement

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill J. Bonnstetter is chairman of TTI Success Insights and founder and chairman of Target Training International. He is considered one of the pioneers in the assessment industry because of his significant contributions to the research and study of human behavior. @bbonnstetter