Values Work For Your Business is (Probably) Not Enough
Ok then values. Anyone who has been round the block in any kind of biz coaching or personal development space will know how crucial we are told this piece of work is.
I agree that it’s important. I also think it’s insufficient or incomplete.
Our perception of our values is inevitably shaped by our experiences- some of them social, some of them personal. We know this to some extent in these online biz spaces- we might say things like, “I thought conscientiousness was a top values because that’s what was expected of me by my parents or teachers”. But I don’t believe we are looking hard enough at the broader and deeper influences on our sense of what we stand for to get a clear picture.
For example. For a long time, I would have said fairness and freedom were values of mine.
Fairness. What I had not reckoned with was the difference between equality (which is what I meant by fairness) and equity- a commitment to acknowledge marginalisation and level the playing field, meaning that some may be perceived to be “unfairly” advantaged if that incident is taken in isolation. (You know the kids of thing, right wingers going mad because employers or Universities increase their quotas of women or people of colour). Or like when I was young and I used to think it was unfair if people came from other countries and used our NHS if they or their parents didn’t pay in, with no regard for why Britain had a healthcare system and other places didn’t, or how money actually moves through economies, etc.
And freedom. Often fetishized in the online biz space, something I’ve definitely taken part in. I think it was in 2018 that this peaked for me- I got my husband to quit his job so we could be freed from the demands of corporate schedules and I could provide for us with my laptop lifestyle. There’s a whole long story around why that didn’t last very long. “Freedom” seeks our individual or nuclear family escape from the way things are in our society- the need to “earn a living” through a 40 hour work for example.
WHAT I ACTUALLY VALUE…
Things that I did not have the knowledge, imaginative infrastructure, critical thinking capacity or language for.
Restorative justice. Collective liberation.
The *feelings* were right. The yearning.
Without the political consciousness, without the developmental skillset, I couldn’t access an accurate sense of what I was craving, what I stood for.
This is why I feel so committed to the weaving together of developmental coaching and political consciousness raising- for business owners and for everyone! I know how powerful the contributions to the collective could be from those of us who cultivate the skills and resources to persevere in this entrepreneurial life.
Ways I can weave with you are…