Loyalty vs. Personal Values

In recent months, I have had time to reflect on many things, one of which was my career choices over the course of the last 12+ years.

I came to the conclusion that loyalty, while absolutely critical, can potentially put you in a tough position should you ever decide on a change. Your organisation must also match your degree of loyalty, or the negative effect on your motivation / morale is the same.

Like people, organisations change over time. What was once a place that deserved, and even earned your continued efforts, can change into something that is best left behind. Nothing nefarious, or even negative, it’s just not right for you, and if you’re not paying close attention, you may not notice this deviation until it’s too late. Or the decision is made for you of course

Everyone needs to develop their personal career vision statement, and list the corresponding values. If the organisation for whom you work does not mostly mirror these values, it may be time to re-evaluate. This evaluation exercise should be repeated often, and especially if there is a significant event on either side of the table.

My vision statement would read something like; “Security before regulation, service before profit.”, and my values would include: integrity, hard work, and enablement (I teach, I don’t just consult). Do you know yours? Does your company post theirs on their website for all to see? Do they live and breathe them?

Companies are the communities of old, where you should feel part of something bigger than yourself, that you are making a positive difference, and maybe – just maybe – receive a little bit of appreciation. This feeling of belonging cannot be attained if your values are different from theirs.

As a manager of a very disparate and diverse group of consultants across 14 time zones, I tried to guide my guys into a little introspection. Whether it was about their own strengths, career progression, or even the organisation for whom we worked, I was never going to get the best out of them unless they truly wanted to be there. This comes from shared vision, and matching values, not from a salary.

So finally, I’m not saying quit if things aren’t perfect, they never will be, but where previously you would not entertain calls from recruiters, take the calls. Where you think you’re underpaid / under-appreciated, go find out if other companies can provide more of what you are looking for.

Above all, know what’s important to you, and don’t be taken by surprise!!

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