What Are Your Values?

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

21 February 2019

What can get you in trouble, infuriate you, empower you, or help you get out of bed on the hardest mornings? I can answer that in two words: your values. Why do opposing political conversations get so heated? Why do mom-wars exist? Why do you constantly whisper under your breath, “What a jerk,” when you hang up the phone with your boss? You guessed it: your values.

We all have a set of values we hold near and dear to our hearts. Some of us are devout Christians. Some of us are New England Patriots fans. Some are vegetarians. And others have innate needs to be known or to make a lot of money. I’ll have you know that I am none of those things. However, I do know (and love) people in each category.

Fyred Up

If you have access to Netflix, Hulu, or the internet, you may have heard about the Fyre Festival disaster. If you haven’t, I’ll give you an abbreviated version of the tale: A man valued money and the appearance of having money. He did everything he could to protect and honor that value. He was also charismatic, had an incredible imagination, and had access to people who shared his values. He promoted his grand idea of a music festival and sold more than 5,000 tickets. Even after he realized his idea was not going to come to fruition, he continued to charismatically upsell his naive concert goers with experiences that would never exist.

How could someone do that? It’s simple. He valued money and the appearance having of money over honesty and integrity. He stayed true to his values. If those aren’t your values, you can never truly understand.

What are your values? What are the values of your brand? Sure, you can hire a graphic designer to create a dozen logos for you. And you can pick the one you like the most. Or you can try to find a marketing team to pull together a new tagline. But marketing and brand management are only successful when your story is told by someone who knows your story. It doesn’t work when you try to tell the story you want everyone else to think is true but really isn’t.

Bottom line: Before you tell your story, uncover your values. And before you accept someone else’s story, uncover theirs.