Archives For values

I was talking to my cousin last week and in our conversation he quoted an individual who stated “Core values are something you are willing to be punished for.”  (Checking the internet, this quote may belong to Patrick Lencioni)  This got me to thinking about our stated values.  If I asked you to list your core values, what would you write down?  If I were to ask those closest to you to list your core values, what would they write down?  What about those in your neighborhood?  At your church or workplace?  Would there be a disparity between their list and yours?

The unexpected opportunity to spend the summer at home with our kids has underscored this issue for me.  You see, I have discovered that my daughter is deaf.  Maybe you have a child like this too.  You squat down to her level and start talking — and initially she makes eye contact somewhere in the neighborhood of  your face.  But pretty soon here eyes are wandering all over the room and she starts to fidget. Well, ok, she’s not really deaf,  she’s just not listening to me.  In the midst of my attempt to express a core family value, she has decided to take a little trip to her happy place.  Why?  Honestly, I don’t think kids care much about what we say.  They care about what we do.  And they believe in what we are willing to stand up for.  What we are willing to be punished for.

I often fall into the lecture mode with my kids, believing I can dazzle them with my knowledge and wit only to see their bright little eyes begin to glaze over with boredom.  Ouch.  And while they aren’t really listening to me, they are listening – to what I say to others and about about others.  And they are watching me – to see how I will act when the pressure is on, when the chips are down, when things go wrong.  And how I will act when they let me down.  They are watching me to see if I am willing to be punished for my values, or whether I jettison them when things get tough.  And I think what they really, really, want to know is will dad stick with his core values, even when I am the one doing the punishing?

If I’m brutally honest with myself, there is too big a gap between my stated values and what I live out when the pressure is on.  I think/hope/believe that each year I am closing that gap, but it is still  unacceptable.  There are things that need to change, adjustments that must be made.

What about you?  Do you have a gap?  Does something need to change?  Tell me what you think  Use the comments.  Or send me a message via the contact page.


Over on my Facebook page I asked the question:

 “Is it important for a man to have a mentor? If it is, should every man have a mentor? Or is it it only for specific situations or times?”

I invite you to come on over and participate in the discussion.

About two years ago I read Tony Dungy’s book “The Mentor Leader.”  I highly recommend you get a copy of the book, a sharp pencil and a legal pad.  I was challenged by the read and it caused me to take some new action/initiative in our families life.  I’m not going to right a book review here, but I would like to post up a few things that I wrote on my legal pad after I read and ruminated on the book.

If I am going to be a mentor leader in my family I need to lead the process of defining our vision, our mission and our values.  This is how I paraphrased those core items after I read the book. 

Vision:  where we want to be, what we want to “look like.”
Mission:  Why do we exist?
Values:  What is important to us? (or what are the rules of the road for our family)

So what does this look like in the real world?  Here is some of what I wrote down on that legal pad regarding vision, mission and values for our family.

Vision:  A cohesive, joyous, loving, caring family with a strong marriage.  Christ followers who walk the walk, care for others and build the Kingdom of God.  To help our children excel where we struggled by offering vision, direction and wisdom.

Misssion:  To build relationships with Christ, with each other and with the Church.  To bring the world into proper relationship with Christ.

Values:  Honesty, integrity, kindness, love, compassion/care
We are not a lying family
We are not a hitting family
We are not a quitting family

I’m not going to pretend that we are always successful in living these things out.  And I’m not going to pretend I’m the greatest family leader, either.  I’m not – rather, I’m greatly flawed!  But I do know that if I aim at nothing, I hit it every time.  And I’m finally learning that it really is important to know where you want to be headed and have an idea of how you are going to get there.  “Making it up on the fly” usually leaves me (and even more so my family) frustrated, disappointed and disillusioned.

So heed these words of mine.  If you want to lead your family, if you want to help them succeed and become all that God desires for them, I would strongly encourage you to get this book and spend time creating a vision for your family.  And then start putting it into action!