I am often asked the question, “What is the biggest challenge one encounters when it comes to the topic of core values?” I find many of the challenges encountered actually inspire an individual to keep digging. But there is one that predictably will keep someone from ever picking-up their shovel.
It is called assumption. It is the assumption that we already know our core values…I’m values based, or I have a gut feel or intuition about my core values. In other words…I already “got this.”
A presumptive assumption is a roadblock and for some a dangerous dead end. This is true in numerous aspects of our work, our relationships, our faith and our own leadership development. This is especially true when it comes to digging to our core. Assuming we “know” can stop the process before it has ever begun. I’m also reminded of Anthony de Mello’s focus on the importance of unlearning. What we “know” may be the very thing we need to unlearn to open the door to learning.
We are early in the rollout of my new book, Return On Integrity, yet the most common reaction of readers already seems to be clear…”I thought I knew all about core values. This is taking me much deeper than I ever imagined.” It is a reaction that feels mixed with both challenge and wonder. It seems there is one safe assumption you can make…if you pick-up the shovel and start to dig to your core, you will learn and unlearn a number of things.
In the comments below, share a time where you presumed something to be true and were surprised to find you had made a wrong assumption!