And, when I’m that old woman, what I want to reflect on the most are my life’s connections, both the fleeting and the lifelong connections that made up the rich, elegant and profound fabric of my being. This takes me back to this recent weekend, which was full of just that – connecting; connecting to dear, old friends, to interesting new friends, and to faraway friends and family. And, on Saturday morning I volunteered at Operation Gratitude which is a wonderful organization that sends care packages to the troops. I went hoping to contribute something in a small way and walked away with an amazing feeling of global connection to the 4,000 men and women we packaged boxes for in that short three-hour time period. Wow, breathtaking.
It hit me this afternoon why I’m still glowing from this particular weekend and why those lyrics are stuck in my conscientiousness. It all reverberates strongly with one of my core values, that of “making meaningful connections.” It’s a primary driving force behind all that I do in my life, professionally and personally.
One of the key leadership principles we identify as Cashmere is “Be True to Your Authentic Self.” When you lead with authenticity, people are drawn to your sense of clarity which instills trust and loyalty. The path toward getting in touch with your authenticity starts with clearly identifying your own core values. What drives you? What makes you tick? What philosophies define your way of life?
Take a 20-minute break today and answer these questions with words and phrases that quickly come to mind. Many times the first notions that pop into our heads are the closest to truth:
- What makes you say yes and jump into an opportunity or situation?
- What makes you say no because it ‘goes against your grain’?
- What tugs at your heartstrings, filling you up with love?
- How do you define human behavior by the standards you feel in your bones?
- What fills you with gratitude?
- What fills you with determination?
- What determines how you treat people and how you want to be treated?
For those questions that need a little more time for reflection, spend the time.
Every decision you make, every risk you weigh, every person you meet will ultimately filter through your core value system, whether you’re aware of it or not. It happens organically on a subconscious level. To be completely authentic and to seize full advantage of being present in your life and leading with purpose, take the time to identify, honor and utilize your core values, bringing them into your daily consciousness. It’s a powerful and centered place from which to lead your life and your business.