|Having led values-based exercises for years, both for businesses and leaders, I was excited to come across Deloitte’s Human Values Compass research this past summer. The research identifies eight cardinal values that speak to our most universal needs and behaviors and which, they discovered, almost everyone identifies with in some combination. They are: ambition, curiosity, belonging, control, sharing with others, caring for others, trying new things and learning.|
As you’re thinking about what it looks like to build a meaningful personal brand this year, it’s helpful to consider what you value at the highest levels. Which combination of these eight values best speak to what you stand for, what you offer and the lens through which you view the world?
Here’s a quick description of each:
Ambition: You value personal achievements. You are motivated by challenges, goals and the drive to get ahead. You value autonomy and believe you are wholly responsible for your wins and losses. Deloitte classifies this audience as “Me.”Curiosity: You value curiosity and creativity. You are an innovative, “out of the box” thinker and are comfortable taking risks, questioning norms and using your imagination to solve problems and come up with new ideas. Deloitte classifies this audience as “Unknown.”
Belonging: You value feeling included and supporting others. You are collaborative and teamwork-driven and delight in forming new relationships. Deloitte classifies this audience as “We.”
Control: You value safety and control. You trust in what you know and what’s worked before, often over new ideas and experiences. You are analytical, routine-driven and motivated by proof. Deloitte classifies this audience as “Known.”
The remaining four values are what happens when two of the cardinal values above interact:
Sharing with Others: Sharing with Others is the intermediate point between Curiosity and Belonging. You are always on the lookout for new ideas, recommendations and resources. You value the ability to share what you find with the people around you.
Caring for Others: Caring for Others is the intermediate point between Control and Belonging. You like to help and protect the people around you.
Trying New Things: Trying New Things is the intermediate point between Curiosity and Ambition. You are motivated by new experiences, testing new skills and cultivating courage along the way.
Learning: Learning is the intermediate point between Control and Ambition. You value the pursuit of knowledge, discipline and taking initiative.
It’s worth noting that these values can ebb and flow for us over time. For example, during COVID, many of us have valued control in ways we didn’t prior to the pandemic. As you’re thinking through your top cardinal values, consider what you most align with today.
Finally, on the business end, this is a useful framework for better understanding your audience’s driving values. Doing so helps you not only speak to their nitty-gritty pain points but their more universal needs and real-time concerns. (You’ll likely find their driving values overlap with your own.)
You can learn more about the research here, here and here.
P.S.: Mine are curiosity, caring for others and ambition.
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