Can Values Lead You Out Of Failure?

Over the last few weeks, we have been exploring why and how vision is critical for your growth as a leader. Without a vision, a people perish. You can’t serve effectively. However, what keeps the vision anchored and protected? Is it your status or position? I believe this is where our values come into play.

I woke up with the desire to work on my weekly goals. There were fifteen email messages to send out. I had some creative thinking to sort out that included a heavy writing schedule awaiting me.

But my mind, body and soul were all disjointed. It felt like I was on ‘screen-saver’ mode. A lot of colorful activity flashed across my computer screen. Yet it was of very little significance to my goals of the week. Trying to get myself going was like swallowing handfuls of sand. I was desperate!

I don’t know about you, but for me, I find it tough to get a project off the blocks. This is because I want to know that I can get to the intended outcome.

The key is to slice the salami. If you had to eat a yard-long salami, that would be daunting. But 144 slices a salami (that’s about 10 a day for 2 weeks) isn’t so bad, now is it? Break the job up into small steps, and enjoy each step.” (Thanks Sid Kemp @ Firepole Marketing)

Indeed, while the task at hand seems overwhelming, it is the ‘why’ of your existence that will keep you going. At the core of that ‘why’ are values that are keys to growing and developing your leadership. It doesn’t matter whether it is personal, career or business leadership. Without solid values, you are in for a hard ride. That’s when I remembered one of my values, “I will inspire excellence in people and make a difference with my life”. And that includes adding value to you right here!

Today I read of a bold initiative led by an inspiring, value-driven man. He and a number of other prominent business leaders have decided to tackle an epidemic from the ground up. “Wednesday (3rd December), was a pretty special day, in our fight to stop the spread of Ebola,” said Mr. Strive Masiyiwa.

Instead of sitting back and seeing Ebola continue to ravage parts of Africa, he chose to link hands with other influential people to the front line. In partnership with the African Union, they established the Africa United Against Ebola Trust.

By Christmas 2014, Kenya, Ethiopia, DRC (to name a few) will deploy one thousand trained healthcare professionals. By the end of September, almost every leading African country, will have sent people, to help rotate those who are there.

In addition, these business leaders have donated nearly $40 million towards this initiative. A call has gone out to telecom companies across forty-four African countries to support the cause. This will help Africans themselves to donate to the cause with as little as $1 through SMS to the number 7979.

But why is Strive doing all this? He could retreat to his wonderful home and rest on his laurels as a business giant. I believe it is because he has strong values to serve Africa from within. This is a focused, determined and bold man.

My kids often say, “Sharing is caring!” When you share with the people they will care about your business. When the time comes, they’ll share your business with others because they feel your care!

When we have a solid set of values, they not only explode our vision. They infuse the functioning of every other facet of your life. They inspire us towards excellence in everything we do.

Have you clearly defined your personal values? Click here to leave a comment below on how they have affected you or the challenges you have in defining your values.


Trustees of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (Patron, ex-officio) – African Union Commission Chairperson; Aliko Dangote – President/CEO, Dangote Group; Yusuf Manji – Chairman and CEO, Quality Group; Strive Masiyiwa – Chairman and Founder, Econet Wireless; Gill Marcus – former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank; Patrice Motsepe – Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals; Phuthuma Nhleko – Group Chairman, MTN; Cristina Stenbeck – Executive Chairman, Investment AB Kinnevik


photo credit: Lead Beyond via photopin cc

Certified Professional Coach, Communication Specialist & Author

I help motivated but overwhelmed individuals and organizations regain their purpose to lead so they can focus on what matters most to build a transformational legacy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Lady in the Loge

    Rejoicing to learn of the initiative by Africans to serve Africans in the battle against Ebola. Sharing is indeed caring! Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Indeed it is a breath of fresh air Sandra…

      • Lady in the Loge

        May God work through the values of these men to defeat Ebola and free Africans. Amen