Values are tricky, it is easy to say that they are important to you when things are good and everything is easy. It is not so easy to stick to them when opportunities come up.
I had the chance to be featured in a national newspaper, admittedly talking about the importance of proper inhaler use for Asthma UK , but none the less my name would have been in the paper, along with the fact that I am self employed. It wouldn’t have led to new work, but it would have been a press clipping!
However, I stated to Asthma UK that I would not talk to the Daily Mail. Why? Well, I don’t like the way they seem to hate everyone who isn’t middle class, white, male and born in this country. This does not meet my value of working honestly and ethically – I abhor their editorial stance and it would have been dishonest of me to talk to them.
On this occasion it was talking about asthma, but would it have been the same if they wanted to feature me in a story entitled ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’? I would like to think so. As Collins says “Core values are key. It doesn’t matter what they are as long as you have them and you stick to them” [Good to Great, why some companies make the leap and others don’t, p196].