Relationship Basics… Part II


Okay… so if great relationships are the secret to a satisfying and meaningful life… and if successful long term relationships are fueled by common values… where do we begin?

We begin… by taking inventory. A Values Inventory.

And like any inventory, it is a list of what you possess at a moment in time… it’s not a wish-list of things you’d like in the future. Our values are the true picture of who we are today… a snapshot of what we’re really about, when no one is looking.

These values guide our actions and decisions in every area… every day of our life. They function as a powerful rudder… settling issues before they ever arise. And they determine our relationships… personally and professionally… attracting others to us that share the same beliefs and qualities.


I don’t know what your values are… and that’s not important at the moment.

What is important is that you know what your values are… and that your family… and your team… and your customers know what they are.

Start by creating a Master Values List, then choose the qualities and principles (values) that define you. These defining characteristics are the ones that resonate strongly with you; if you need to spend time thinking about a particular one… it’s probably not you.

So, if your ready… let’s go. Take out a sheet of paper and write down five values; then put the list away. Do the same thing each day for two weeks, and you’ll have seventy… the start of a great Master Values List. A week later you’ll have one hundred and five.

Sweet… and it didn’t take longer than a minute or two each day.

Need to prime the pump?

Type “leadership traits” or “character traits” into Google. Check out the U.S. Army’s “Twenty-three Traits of Character”, the U.S Navy and Marine Corps “Fourteen Leadership Traits’, or the Air Force’s “Six Leadership Traits”.

Heck, grab the Boy Scout Law and you’re off to the races with Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.


With Master List in hand, prioritize the principles that guide you in each area of life and business… they will be different. These values will then influence your relationships, define your friendships, guide your parenting style, and determine your ideal customers and employees.

For example, in terms of importance, a value like ‘Perseverance’ may be in the top three for your Sales Department, but not in the Top 10 for your Accounts Payable team.

And many may overlap… ‘Loyalty, Communication, and Teamwork’ may be at the top for your marriage, while ‘Innovation, Communication, and Teamwork’ may be most important in your R&D Division.

The goal is to define the handful of most important values that guide your leadership, marketing, and relational responsibilities… and then drive them deep. These are the non-negotiables in our lives… the place where our legacy is formed, and our reputation is forged.

It’s where the real work of purpose-filled relationships begin, and where impact and meaning are born.


I look forward to speaking with you.


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