Compromising Your Core Values

Published on 20 October 2010 by in blog, Core Value/Ethics


There is a very clever anti-smoking TV commercial. It takes place in a job interview and the hiring Manager tells the applicant that if they take the job it would lead to the deaths of many people. It is pretty absurd that anyone would take the job under those circumstances and compromise their core values. So we laugh or snicker and of course we all know what we would do in that situation. We would get up and walk out of the door without even answering. Or would we? I do not think anyone would knowingly take a job that kills people. However, when you are out of work for a long period of time, you have spent your severance and exhausted your unemployment benefits and your mortgage is behind how many of us would be willing to compromise our core values?

First let’s define Core Values. We are talking about, “a set of beliefs that influence the way people and groups behave”. These are deep rooted beliefs that make up who a person is. When I list Core Values they would include:

Peace, Happiness, Success, Friendship, Fame, Authenticity, Power, Influence, Justice, Integrity, Joy, Love, recognition, Family, Truth, Wisdom, Status

Some of these may be on your list some may not. The list of your core values is your personal values, however somehow or other they fit into one of these.

These values are the way that we live our lives. They are what keep us from going to jail. Yet we may sacrifice some peace to get wealth or recognition. Or we may turn our back on Family or friends to get or maintain employment. How important is missing your kid’s birthday for that all important business trip? I can hear you saying, that’s just business, people do it all of the time. So I guess that makes it right. Now go and explain it to your son or daughter. Explain how you must go away so that you will have money for their presents. If you ask them you may find they would rather have your presence that a present.

You are having a lunch with your boss and he says to you, “you know, we can make the sale if we say in the presentation that the product will do what the customer wants, even if we know it does not do it yet, it is not really a lie. It will do it someday and until then we come up with something to explain why it all of a sudden is not working. Meanwhile we have the contract signed”. Doesn’t that just give you an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach? It is compromising your ethics, but it is the boss telling you to do this so it is all right. Or do you want to sleep at night?

These core values are there because they mean something to you. They also mean something to the others in your life. They trust you and live you because they know that you will always do the “right” thing. They count on that consistency from you and are confused and disappointed, maybe even depressed and disillusioned. They know you intentionally deviated from your core value. You deviated from being you.

Hold on to your values. They are something that no one can take away from you. Only you can compromise them. When you do sacrifice your values it is not in a vacuum and you are not the only person that will be affected by that sacrifice.

Be true to yourself!! Think about your set of personal core values. Follow them and you will be happier, you will sleep well. The trust others have in your word and commitment, your good name and peace of mind are worth more than anything you can buy.

Hector Silva

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