4Choose your growth values

‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’


As we have discussed, quadrant 1 in the Mindful Leader Matrix brings clarity to the values that help us grow. Growth values, which pull us in the direction of our conscious or best intentions, are distinguished from assumed or unconscious values handed down to us from our parents and society.

When we work with clients who are in the socialised mind, they are rarely able to express their values clearly. Or if they can, they typically share them as if they were a personal brand — principles they live by unquestioningly in all circumstances. Ironically, their values appear to be used as an image management tool, rather than as a daily growth practice. Growth values explicitly invite us to acknowledge the gap between our best intentions and our behaviour. They invite us to consider the most important qualities we need to develop in order to overcome the fears and attachments inhibiting our growth.

For example, we once introduced the matrix to a team whose leader was notoriously avoidant. He struggled to have tough conversations and hold people accountable, and this was common knowledge among his team. So when he initially chose the values of compassion and kindness, an almost audible groan passed through the room. It was obvious to all that these were not the areas in which he needed growth. For the team to function better, they would have preferred ...

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