Larsen also states that leaders whose roles are misaligned with their values experience inner conflict, stress, or frustration. It is fairly common in my work as a business coach to come across leaders and business owners who are facing hardships without recognising the reasons. It would be advisable to assess and have an ‘inner look’ at your values as they are likely to reveal some contradictions in your business life (or personal) that need to be addressed.

A common example with many clients is their need of valuing transparency but they often find they are required to be vague in dealing with difficult business issues with their staff (e.g. business is struggling) – this causes them real anxiety or discomfort. It feels to them as if their “emotions and spirit suffer” by going down a contrary path.

If you value excellence, you will be discouraged and defeated if the pressures of your environment force your staff to submit substandard work. Your inner-self is in conflict with your actions.

If you value relationships, you will be distressed if your workload doesn’t permit you to engage your staff in ways that allow you to know them and spent time with them. You’ll sense an emptiness inside that won’t go away. This value impacts small family business quite severely as well. It is fairly common for clients to have started their own business in the belief it will offer them the opportunity to spend more time with their family -based on their values around family. When the business demands so much time from them that it ‘robs’ them from achieving this outcome, this ‘emptiness’ does become an issue.

Look for the warning signs. I see this in the clients I coach: responses to situations, confidence, positivity, and quality of relationships are affected by actions that contradict values. This is another reason why assessing your values is so critical. Allow a coach or mentor take you through the process of identifying those ideals that you strongly believe in.

Assess your leadership, job, duties etc to see where you fit and where you don’t. Make changes before a value-action misalignment takes you further down a painful path. No one benefits if you are in conflict with your values – especially you.

What do you think? What do your barometers tell you about your values? How are your actions aligned with your values?