Tim Cook was named the FT’s person of the year this year. The reason was not simply because of the financial performance and “dazzling new technology” that Apple has created under his direction. It was because his “brave exposition of his values also sets him apart.”
Tim Cook did not acquire these values because Apple was already a values-led organisation. He acquired them for himself, and is now creating Apple as a values-led organisation by first being a values-led person: bringing his values-led focus and determination (and mindfulness/empathy) to his workplace every day.
So how does someone get to become a values-led person who can then create a values-led organisation? The Churning offers seven simple steps:
1. Learn to centre and ground and get deeply in touch with who you are.
2. Learn to make sense of any situation in a neutral objective way: perceiving but not judging, understanding but not assuming.
3. Learn to look for and identify the three types of opportunity that exist in any crisis or challenging situation.
4. Learn to choose the way forward that matches best with who you are, where you are, and what you believe in.
5. Learn to identify your three main values, and your life purpose.
6. Learn to articulate your chosen way forward as a vision that will inspire you and others to pursue and implement it.
7. Learn to manage the inner challenges that will arise as you and your team work to put your values-led vision into practice, and turn those challenges into opportunities.
Any organisation is the sum total of its individuals, who either work together synergistically or in opposition.
The more the individuals in an organisation are able to identify their own values and put them into practice, and the more those values overlap, the more the organisation as a whole will be values-led.
The first half of The Churning, on inner leadership is about uncovering and manifesting what your personal values are. The second half, on outer leadership, is about putting them into practice in your organisation.