Your values are your most valuable possession.
Betty, who works in contract document control for a large construction company in eastern Washington told Session 3B of the Leadership Development LAB:
"In 1987 we moved our family to Kent, Washington. As soon as we had gotten settled in, I went to an employment agency for their help to look for a job. They referred me to two different companies. One was a position as the director of a large corporate daycare facility. The other was as a receptionist for a small second generation family owned electrical contractor that had been in business for 50 years. The director of the daycare facility paid quite a substantial amount, more money than the receptionist position, and it sounded a lot more prestigious. I, of course, took the position that paid the most. Wouldn’t you? After working at the daycare facility for about one week, I had seen enough to realize that this was not a place that I would bring my own children to, so how could I ever feel comfortable working there? I immediately called the employment agency and asked if the electrical contractor position was still open and if they were still interested in hiring me. Luckily, they were and I accepted the position. I had only been there a couple of weeks when the owner came by and handed me a Christmas bonus. That company immediately won my loyalty and I would have retired from there if my husband and I had not moved away.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that money and a big title is not everything. I learned that I must be true to my values. The action I call you to take is always stick to your ideals. The benefit you
will gain is personal peace and self-respect."
Anytime we sacrifice our values for position, title, or money, we have and are sacrificing our very soul. I meet so many people who want to be and are critical of a corporation, a company, sometimes the very company they work for. No one is making them stay there. This is a free country – lots of jobs, lots of opportunity. It is only out of fear or our own greed that we would stay in a job that asks us to do things require that we compromise our values.
"If you work for a man, in heavens name work for him! If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of the time, and the rest of the time work against him. I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness."