A Tribute to Values

"If old so and so had lived until tomorrow he would have been dead just a fortnight"

– Albert Copcutt

Ron Copcutt 002

A little less than a year ago my father, Ronald Copcutt, passed away, today would have been his 86th birthday. As he did about his father Albert when we were kids, I now find myself doing the same, quoting him to my children or telling stories about him.

When I speak on the topic of personal branding I always introduce him as a different kind of personal brand. I'm not sure if he ever really understood the topic, he would always ask "What is it exactly that you do?" !!! What he did know is that the world had changed forever.

At his eulogy I talked about the importance that Values played in his life, above anything else that drove him. As I look at the rapid change around us and various 'new' interpretations of personal branding, one thing that will not change are values.

Values are one of the core pillars of the personal branding foundation building process and the more that I reflect on what my father did for us and what he stood for, the more I realise how necessary they are. Values drive a lot of what we do, they determine many of the decisions we make and very often are our motivating force.

When we compromise them or someone else affects them negatively we feel bad about it and our personal brand suffers for it.

When we stick by them, make decisions that might seem strange to others but right to us, we do not question those deicsions, because deep down it was the right one.

Our values are like the zagat rating of our personal brands – our level of satisfaction with where our brand is at.

Recently in a decision to discontinue working on a client project, I revisited my values and it helped clarify the situation for me and eased my decision.

So I encourage you to take the time to clearly identify what your core values are, what they mean to you and regularly score them in terms of how you are living and following them.

You can take a free values assessment here http://www.squarepegsolution.com/FreeResourcesIndex/ValuesExercise.html 

Let me know what comes up for you by posting a comment here on the blog.  

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

  • Paul,
    Great post. Agree, whenever you take a project or client that goes against your values – you know fairly quickly that it’s not right (your gut/instinct is always a good indicator). But it’s about being brave enough to make a tough call when you’re not living by those values that’s key – even if in the short term that means losing revenues or clients
    I’m sure your dad would be proud of you sticking to your guns and living by you’re values!

  • Hi Paul,
    Amazing post and it rings so true for me. I have also looked back at two decisions I have made recently. Both were difficult, but revisiting them I realized that my values clearly explained why I made the decisions I did and why it would be difficult if not impossible for me to do have decided any other way. Turns out it was for the best.
    Well written.

  • Good advice Sital. Funny my Grandads favourite line was Stick to your guns – thx for the reminder

  • Thx Teresa.
    Mike it always feels better on reflection, even though we try to second guess ourselves too much. Stick by the values.

  • Mary Rosenbaum

    A great article – it points out how important our values are and that we should keep them front and center when making many of those important decisions. Thanks for sharing.
    Mary Rosenbaum

  • Thank you Mary and sometimes not just the important decisions but also the small ones!

  • Imran M. Ismail

    Values also remind me a metaphor of anchor. If you anchor (hooked) yourself to values you won’t drift in a rough (economic, social, personal situations) waters. Sometime we loose few anchors, when the tides are too high, it happen with human beings, it could be either we do not give enough attention on tightening knots or using strong ropes for anchoring values. Therefore, as you say, we need to check them often, to see whether they are strong and tight!
    Imran M. Ismail