Let’s take one step back and look at the reason for a person’s values. They are direction markers of behaviour, actions and words. However, I don’t believe these are finite results or markers of behaviour, actions or words. Instead, I believe they effect the next behaviour, the next action and the next thought. As a human being, where do my effective values come to a stop? When does the new value that becomes a part of my life start and when does its effect stop? My thinking is that they don’t. They may change and they may vary in different levels but the “effect” is ongoing and cumulative. I would also express my belief that what I would call “effective values” stop the day we stop breathing.
If this argument is true, I would then be asking “What is my values legacy”? What is it that I leave behind as a summation of my values? What is it that I will be remembered by? Definitely my values will determine what I refer to as “values legacy” and if so, what conscious role have I played in determining my “values legacy”?
As a human being, and I used this term specifically, as a human being with much influence in the area of education and faith development I am asking myself more and more, “What is it that I want my values legacy to look like?”
Upon much reflection, I realise that if I can determine, believe and respect my actual values than I will lead my life and the life of others with integrity and honesty. I will leave my life and the life of others with respect and honesty. I will lead my life and the life of others in faith driven by the image of Jesus, a values led individual who made a difference.
Each person who has “invested” in some way with my life: family, friends, students, staff, general community and so on, each of these people are shareholders of my life. In what way will I pay them dividends through my actual values and my “values legacy”? In what way will I maximise their shareholder values?
In leadership my values legacy is my driving force. It is my gift back to my “shareholders” who have invested in my life. I have a responsibility to choose my values as I now know that they are important to my being but their role in the lives of others is instrumental.