You might have business values, but have you got the courage of your convictions? See how to determine if you what must be done to back up your words with actions.

The next excerpt is from Jeffrey Hayzlett’s book The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures . Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound

Hero leaders and companies will have a big vision that they pursue each day, and their values inform that vision. In the service of these values, they have to:

  • Live their values
  • Hold themselves responsible and accountable with their values each day
  • Create a culture that reflects their values
  • Think bigger and much better than they already do and differently than they have before
  • Welcome and also pay attention to dissenting voices-not just the ones who affirm everything you already believe
  • Be ready to study from others without convinced that new knowledge and nuance undermine what they believe
  • Admit they don’t know everything
  • See opportunities for partnerships and relationships within their people and the city that permit them to grow as business­es and leaders
  • Be ready to sacrifice and compromise
  • Be good and kind in how they treat others

Each one of these things require flexibility and vulnerability, not forgetting dedication and time. But while things such as sacrifice and compromise are crucial in how exactly we work, there has to be some values we’ll never compromise. Our core values will be the ones that anchor us, our people, and our organizations and present us the courage to keep standing and fighting. No hero can operate successfully or have Hero Intensity without them.

So what’s non-negotiable for you personally? Chick-fil-A is an exemplory case of a company that stacks up because of its values. The company’s taken a stand on gay rights and gay marriage (for the record, it’s opposed), which includes caused entire cities, like Boston, to reject the stores. The company’s stand could be opposite to mine, and I am hoping it’ll change. But I still eat at the restaurants, therefore do many gay people I understand, who also expect change. Does which means that they lack the courage of their convictions, in patronizing a business that will not support who they are and how they would like to live? Actually, it’s the contrary: They have the courage to aid those that disagree. They still get served, regardless of who they are, and made a choice to consume a delicious chicken sandwich, accepting that disagreement on values doesn’t mean they can not be civil. I respect that people can have different values but still break bread. I could still study from and respect other activities the business does: how they live their values, treat their people, and help their communities.

In all honesty, I only get my back up when people or organizations live by one rule, won’t even consider that there may be exceptions, and use that absolute to avoid you from accepting those that disagree (or who advocate almost any violence against them).

Those individuals believe they have integrity and truth on the side and so are living their values. On the facial skin of it, non-negotiable values should only increase your Hero Intensity. However when they’re used to exclude others, not due to any offenses against others or trespasses against you but as the way they look, think, or believe just offends you? That’s being righteous beneath the guise to be right, a zealot not acting with zeal.

The type of right and wrong is that values can evolve, and the ones values — even your non-negotiables — should be put to the test in order to understand that. This implies you’ll want people opposing you — whether it’s individuals who don’t like everything you are a symbol of or companies who would like to enable you to get down by doing everything you do better or disrupting how you do it. Otherwise, it certainly isn’t about you, right? Because you’re not really a big enough hero for your values to matter.

The question is, does that challenge make you start or double down? And which are the difference? Because there’s no absolute right way, regardless of how non-negotiable you are. A hero always requires a villain. Villains help heroes operate for what they believe, test what they believe, and understand the complexities to do the right thing. Being truly a hero is always about “doing the proper thing.” But what goes on next?

Do you utilize what your “villains” are doing to carefully turn the spotlight of accountability on yourself or simply condemn their values?

What’s right with regards to values is rarely black and white, particularly when the choices aren’t simple or the problem is one you’ve never encountered before. Operationally, “right” could be a little easier. It is usually about being efficient and doing things the simplest way possible, as fast as possible, using the fewest amount of people without screwing those individuals and hurting those that most need our protection. By doing so, doing something best and right may cost you. If you need to hire folks from your community, you will be charged you a lot more than paying someone in Latin America or Southeast Asia.

With regards to Hero Intensity, however, and being true to who you are, everything you are, and what your values are, hero leadership could be messy. Just how do you cope with this messiness?

You do it by getting the courage to be authentic. Always live your values, even if others don’t like them or they seem stuck previously:

  • Say no if it doesn’t match your values.
  • Stay relentless even though the naysayers attack and the winds of change blow on the market.
  • Do whatever needs doing to lead and reach beyond everything you know.
  • Don’t play politics or live with hidden agendas, but operate and say eve
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