The remarkable life- How to live by your values.

Jun 5, 2017Padraig's Insights

Articulating your values #1


As part of our planning process we spend a lot of time working on operating principles or values. Somebody asked me the other day to share some of my values with them and I thought it might be useful to do an Insight on it.

I want to just pick a few. What I really want to share here is the value of having articulated some operating principles or values. A code of conduct if you wish that helps you make decisions

Quite often we find ourselves in situations where things happen and we react in ways that, upon reflection, we are less than happy with.

The reason I believe we do this is because we don’t have a criteria against which we can measure and judge the situation.

I want to talk about 3 of my values: adding value, accepting responsibility and no guessing.

Adding value. We talk in our business about being givers not takers, and that’s something that I’m trying to practice in my own life.

What you throw out there into the water comes back to you. I have made a conscious choice to be a giver.

It’s really important I think to be a giver. I’ve just found in general in life I make the choice to give. It’s a choice. It’s not that I’m a nice guy, just that I give as a conscious choice and it comes back to me. People reciprocate and appreciate it. Even if they don’t I’m happy to give. It gives me pleasure.

Accepting responsibility. The only way to move forward is to take full ownership of situations. By taking responsibility you are able to respond, but when you’re just pointing your finger out there you are powerless to do anything about it.

Learn to take ownership and responsibility for whatever’s happening, irrespective of who’s right or who’s wrong.

No guessing. I adopted this from Mahan Khalsa’s ‘Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play’. Park your own agenda and always ask ‘what’s the truth of the situation’? Deal only with reality.

Park your own needs, wants, prejudice, everything and just say what is really happening here? So for example if I’m with a client or a friend and I see something happening, instead of ignoring it or hoping it’ll turn out the way I want it to turn out, I just confront it and address the issue. If there’s an orange light there address the orange light before it becomes a red light.

Those are some values that I found useful. Think about the concept of having a value system, operating principles that allow you to make judgements, decisions in the moment based on logic, reason, something you want to be or do.


Articulating your Values #2



I would like to follow on from my video yesterday about operating principles or values. Somebody asked me this morning why I do these videos and the answer is that they help me think. I like the idea of putting my ideas into the world and getting some feedback from it. It helps me grow and develop.

This takes me into one of my operating principles or values which is growth.I want to become all I can be and to help others do the same. I built my business around this. We believe that everybody should have the opportunity to achieve what they can achieve in life, irrespective of their circumstances.

Another operating principle that’s really important for me is passion. I’m not getting any younger and I decided a few years ago that I was only going to do something if I’m passionate about it. It doesn’t matter if it’s sport, a hobby or work. I’m only going to do something if I’m passionate about it and if I can be completely committed. I’ve no interest in being 60% or 70% committed.

Another value is simplicity. As you get on in life you tire of complexity and you just look for the most simple way of doing things. I like simple models, language, tools and relationships. I like to keep my life very simple.

Finally, my personal freedom is really important to me. I define this as maintaining my independence while doing my best to serve the need.

What are your values or operating principles? I encourage you to develop some of your own. They can be very helpful guiding principles that can help you make decisions.



4 Keys of Referability


I realised after I did yesterday’s video that I left out one operating principle that I think is really important.

It comes from Dan Sullivan, the strategic coach. He talks about the 4 keys of referability, which is one of my operating principles.

Here in the office we always ask ourselves ‘if we do this, will we be referable?’ The 4 keys are as follows: show up on time, do what you say, finish what you start and say please and thank you.

  1. Show up on time. When we think about someone who doesn’t show up on time, do we refer them? They’re not reliable. Showing up on time shows you’re reliable.


  1. Do what you say. Show respect and reliability.


  1. Finish what you start. Show that you’re tenacious, that you deliver and that you hang in there.


  1. Say please and thank you. Show that you have courtesy.


Recently a junior person in the office was guiding people into a room. A senior person arrived, a client, and was rude to them. They looked past them, ignored them and sort of dismissed them with a flick of their hand. It was very telling about the person. Always show courtesy.

So, think about these 4 keys of referability as operating principles or values. I adopted them years ago. I think they’re a good code and I wish you luck with them.



Final Thoughts..


There is huge power in articulating your Operating Principles or Values, they can be provide you with a framework or Code of Conduct to guide you daily in judgements and decision making.

Secondly be the person who shows up on time, does what he says, finishes what she starts and says please and thank you.

What are your top three values? If you referred to them daily would that help you live a better life? Challenge yourself to live by Dan Sullivan’s 4 keys of referability and see how your relationships and business improve.

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