Identifying Your Core Values

Use this tactic to pinpoint what you value most about your life--and your business.

When people need to identify and clarify their values, some havefound "forced choice" to be very useful. You know forcedchoice as the popular lifeboat dilemma that asks you which six orseven people out of a group of 15 would you put into a lifeboat.These lifeboat scenarios are very good at helping people decidewhether a child who will grow up to find a cure for diabetes ismore important to them than the president of an advertising agencywho, if rescued, will die two years later of diabetes.

Here's an easy and more modern dilemma that might help:Suppose that a large asteroid is on a collision course with earth,and complete destruction is assured in a matter of weeks. You havebeen given the opportunity to save 100 people from thisdestruction. What kind of people will you select? If you chooseprimarily family members, there's a good chance that family isone of your central values. If you choose artists and musicians,maybe you value a world of beauty. If you choose scientists, itcould be that progress and discovery are important to you. The morespecific you can be about the 100 people you will save, the moreeffective you will be at isolating your own individual values.

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management

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