Professional athletes and trainers will tell you that your core muscles should be strong and flexible because they provide stability, increase your balance, aid in absorbing impact, and help generate power to control movement and speed.
That's the reason why a lot of those peeps have crazy six-packs. You can see those ab and back muscles from a distance. They focus on their core because the benefits of a strong core are essential to winning the physical battles of their sport.
Then there are those who live by “circumstantial values”. This means that their values are not stable, but rather, change according to the situation. You won't get far in leadership if you don't have any stability in your core values.
Why? Because you'll always be tempted to cheat or to take the shortcut even if it means doing something unethical. There are many that people fall under the false pretense that as long as no one gets hurt, it's ok to ignore your values.
Your values are the standards by which you live by and the principals by which you behave. It is what you prioritize.
If you don't have defined values, then your life, your relationships, your integrity, and leadership will be dictated by circumstance rather than principle. You'll live like a ship without a rudder.
four benefits of core values
1. Having a defined set of values will give you and your organization stability. It's hard enough leading as things around us change all of the time. If a leader stands for one thing one day and then stands for another thing the following week, it becomes hard for the organization to trust that leadership.
Unstable leaders have drastic mood-swings, are inconsistent, and often give off an anxious vibe. When the leader is an unstable person, or unstable in making descisions the organization loses direction.
Think of a compas that always points North. Because North never changes, we can rely on the tool of a compass or a GPS. We will always know we are going the right way because our tools are set to a system that has been stable for hundreds of years.
2. A strong core of values helps you to maintain your balance. Some things may want to throw you off, but you can rest assured that when you know how to set things in order, you'll find balance.
This doesn't mean that everything will get equal attention or the same amount of time. It means that you won't be knocked off your course.
3. You will be able to absorb impact. Life happens. We cannot predict tomorrow. That is why you have to define what you stand for today, so that you'll know how to take anything that life throws at you.
Many leaders compromise their influence because they make rash decisions in emergency situations. They didn't think ahead so they make decisions based on feelings rather than values. When you do that, you risk a fall that you may not be able to get up from.
Roy E. Disney once said, "when your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier."
When you work on your core values you'll know how to take a hit and what to do when the impact strikes.
4. It provides you with strength. You were meant to stand out. You were meant to be the head and not the tail. Therefore, in spite of the present temptation of our time to fit-in, you need to stay true to who you are.
Having core values gives you the strength to stand up to unpopular opinions. It gives you the courage to make uncommon decisions. You won't wither under pressure.
No one follows a weak minded leader. Abraham Lincoln for example, is heavily regarded as a leader of strength because he was firm in his set of beliefs. His values were strong in the midst of great opposition. If he crumbled, the nation would have been divided forever. Yet, he is regarded in history as one of the greatest Presidents ever. Why? Because he was a man of strong values.
Everyday, exercise your values in your mind. Keep them in your heart and you will succeed. Find a reason to exemplify the values by which you live and people will know that your whole life is controlled by a strong core.