Values Means Nothing

For the ones who know me, they’ll find this title a bit strange, because I often talk about « value » as a verb and as a noun, about « valuation », « over /under valuation » and their impacts in personal and business life at the individual, team and organizations’ levels.

But if you don’t know me much… it’s possible “value” means nothing for you!


For a lot of people, “value” is just gibberish.

In the corporate world, “values” are often just words hanged on a webpage or even in the lobby of the building, without much implication…

- Hey Jo, we need to write something somewhere, like others do…

- Yeah… don’t we have a communication or marketing guy to do that?

- Actually it’s a girl…

- Oh, I found 5 cool words in “Value yourself for dummies”. *

- The communication guy says it’s ok!

- I told you it’s a girl…


Do you Remember Enron’s values:
Integrity, Communication, Respect, and Excellence?

Well, maybe you should …
because their leaders went to jail after they went bankrupt for fraud.

There was a “cultural world of differences

between what was written and what was actually

valued, encouraged in the company!



“Values” mean nothing ... if

- if you can’t translate the word in one meaningful sentence - and meaningful doesn’t always mean “very deep”;

- if you can’t say, translate the word in things, actions, you can see, observe … ALL THE TIME;

- if they are wishes;
- if you think you can JUST CHOOSE THEM;
- if you don’t understand that they will shape your corporate culture, actions and results;
-if you don’t know your personal values, your team values, your company values;
- if you don’t understand that your company values are a composite of the personal values of the people working for you – like it or not, it doesn’t change anything!
- if you don’t live your values!


Any valuable choice?

There are values that you choose (more or less), like moral, religious values.
They are “espoused values”.

And there are the values you don’t choose. They are already within you. Most of the time, people are not aware of them. However, they remain the most powerful drivers in their lives (professional or personal) but are not aware of.

Professionals like me call them the personal hierarchy of values and we have tools to reveal, identify and measure them.


Why is it important to reveal values?

As I said a few lines earlier, the personal hierarchy of values is the structure of the motivation of a person. Whatever they do they tend to satisfy this personal hierarchy of value. If their environment doesn’t allow them to satisfy it, people will live conflicts and their energy live will be drained out.


If it’s still not clear to you, I’m going to say it in other words

If you don’t know the personal hierarchy of value of a person, you might find yourself spending a lot of time, energy and money to try
- to MOTIVATE people without success (or not much);
- to RETAIN the right people;
- to ATTRACT the right people;
- to SHAPE a corporate culture that will never exist, at least with the current people;
- to UNDERSTAND (without really succeeding) conflicts;
and probably a few more lovely things…


About the author: Xavier BARILLER helps individuals, teams, partnerships, businesses
to identify, measure their real values, their deep motivations, to make them alive, to align themselves with their values, to bring meaning where meaning seems lost, to make appropriate cultural changes, to “write the new pages" of their stories.

* you won't find the book "Value yourself for dummies", I just created the cover. 😉

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