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Talking Heads Change vs. Core Values

Music always explains words to me. I read my morning devotional, Jesus Calling, which focused on letting Jesus direct my every step today. I then moved on to my daily run and within a minute of running I realized I am slogging along with Every Move I Make playing in my head. Made perfect sense and got me another good mile down the road.

Running or swimming provides me a forum for thinking through nagging problems in my head. This morning the change vs core values issue surfaced as the topic. Music provides the background mood to allow me to focus. I know that sounds backward but that’s me. In comes the Talking Head’s Life During Wartime. The line “I’ve changed my hair so many times, I don’t know what I look like,” makes me smile as I focus in on the problem. Good for your stride too!

With life changing at such an increasing rate, the necessity of some change is no longer an option, it’s an imperative. Embracing change is one of my gifts. While creating a headhunter’s nightmare of a resume, my changes  perfectly positioned me for coaching and business consulting. ‘Been there, done that, survived that, or missed that one’ are comfortable statements for me.

What is harder sometimes to figure out is what not to change. What should we hold onto regardless of the apparent cost? How do we avoid not knowing what we look like?

[Funny aside on change before continuing. Change to a 60 year old should be easier to absorb than change to a 20 year old. Yet somehow I “feel” as if  unexpected change is accelerating. You’d think I should see it coming better than I do.]

Every Move I Make gave me the answer. As long as my unchangeables include God, Family, and The Golden Rule, my personal life and career can deal with any change. Having said that doesn’t mean I haven’t changed how I do business, what I do, or where I live. Been there, done that, survived that and kept on moving. Given a choice between working on Sunday or missing church, I resigned. Having built a new house, I immediately leased it so I could move and have my son stay in school with his friends. In both cases the apparent cost proved to be an illusion compared to the benefits I received.

For business, Jim Collins provides a great perspective. His questions regarding core values get right to the heart of the matter. Visit for great resources on this thought leader’s approach. Here are his questions:

1) If you were to start a new organization, would you build it around this core value regardless of the industry? 

2) Would you want your organization to continue to stand for this core value 100 years into the future, no matter what changes occur in the outside world? 

3) Would you want your organization to hold this core value, even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage—even if in some instances the environment penalized the organization for living this core value? 

4) Do you believe that those who do not share this core value—those who breach it consistently—simply do not belong in your organization?

5) Would you personally continue to hold this core value even if you were not rewarded for holding it?

6) Would you change jobs before giving up this core value?

7) If you awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, would you continue to apply this core value to your productive activities?

Problem resolved, music fades and I finish the jog knowing the answer. Change will always cause appearance changes. Yet, no matter how a person or company looks on the outside, it’s what’s inside at the core that counts.

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