Fast track your decision making with this one trick

Using your values as your GPS

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Some leaders are more decisive than others by nature and they exhibit both self control and self determination in pretty equal parts. I was not one of those people when I entered into the HR space over 15 years ago. It’s easy to confuse self control with self determination and not show them both the respect they deserve. There’s something that underlies both of them though. It underpins why we don’t eat that cake, or why we do run that half marathon. It’s often the same thing that we use to make a decision. What is it? 

It helps me to remember that “the decision will be always made by the decision maker”, words spoken by the father of modern management, Peter Drucker.

Your values are like fingerprints, you leave them all over what ever you do – Elvis

I have learned slowly but surely to intentionally turn to check with my values


1. Have an accountability partner in your circle.  

Someone you trust you can sense check things with. How does this look to them? When we act in haste, that is, when we do not make the time to do this, we make mistakes. 

2. Intentionally be curious about who and how you choose.

Ask others about their accountability partner, and gravitate towards people who do the same and ask them about their values. Do they align?

3. Write the values down.

You are 8 times more likely to remember something you have hand written. Some people use index cards and take them with them to meetings. Try it, let me know how it works for you. Dr Marshall Goldsmith the world’s expert coach often uses these with his clients.

4. Go with your gut instinct if you feel it’s an ethical decision you are making.

That does not mean ignore facts, data and knowledge. It does mean, even when the numbers tell you otherwise, there are some things that you know deep inside your being are the right thing to do. Listen to the whispers.

Why are your personal values important? Your values are a moral compass, the same way values are for an organization. I often ask leaders to do this and see where their values intersect. It’s a good reminder that if you dilute your pool too much, it quickly lets other perhaps unwanted values grow without you even realizing it!

I subscribe to the idea that my values will help me get where I am going – if I follow them habitually. 

Do you?

 Jamie is the Founder and Chief Dream Officer at Reaptimistic.

Reaptimistic offers realistically optimistic coaching on leadership and HR services based in Los Angeles, with a twist, our leadership theories are based on the humble dog, love and the code of care, to T – H – I – N – K. Is True, is it Helpful, is it Inspiring, Is it Necessary and is it Kind?

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