In a world where success is so often defined by the external and expedient; where fear trumps love and a mindset of survival often trumps integrity,
Can you be bought? Are your values for sale to the highest bidder?
Living in alignment with our core values need not be a high drama proposition, but a series of small choices we make every day.
I’m curious to know…
When it comes to honoring your core values, in what ways have you been tempted to compromise, settle or sell out? Do you pursue endeavors to feed false pride or to pursue deep purpose? What small step can you take today to begin to walk your talk in a more authentic way?
4 thoughts on “Can You Be Bought?”
Interesting to read this Sharon, while I was pondering over this myself. For me the answer is a firm No if the question is would I compromise my integrity or the integrity of my work for money? But there are other areas that are a bit gray… would I take a better paid job at a public company as a corporate sustainability person, knowing fully well that any environmental values of the company will typically be secondary to the value of their shares? Or would I work for less pay and benefits at a non-profit or a private company? I could argue that even small changes at a large public company may have more impact than I could have at a small private company. But I am not sure if that is me talking my way to sell out on my principle of doing my best, environmentally speaking … ? The answer is not clear to me.
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Thank you, Smita, for your very honest and thought-provoking response. I agree — there are black and white areas where I have stubbornly demonstrated my unwillingness to compromise on issues of integrity, even when there was a steep cost associated with it. But as you correctly point out, there are also the gray areas where it becomes tempting to sacrifice our own sense of deep purpose for what’s practical, safe and secure. Somewhere between those two extremes, I also believe there’s a healthy middle ground.
Interestingly, last year I had a really engaging conversation with a woman in D.C. who has been at the center of creating enabling policy for women’s economic empowerment in Afghanistan. As we talked about core values and the principles of the Global Girls Project, she rather matter-of-factly reminded me that for those who are in raw survival mode, there is little room for self reflection around issues of principle and integrity. As a matter of human survival, people will do what they must to eat, be housed, and provide for their families. When you consider that perspective, it becomes a very delicate issue for which there are no easy answers!
Great post, Sharon! I’m curious to see the reader response. I’ve never taken a job for ego vs values, but I’ve left one when the values clashed. Best thing I ever did. It launched my consulting career. 🙂
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It’s less about ego v. values than it is ego v. purpose. When you’re in ‘proving’ or ‘approval-seeking’ mode (which is driven by the ego), the allure of or attachment to the prestigious over the purpose-filled can be alluring, though at a cost.
Being completely transparent, I know I’ve certainly struggled with that from time to time. These days my focus is on meeting my core needs to serve my highest priority (my family), while holding space for those truly heart-aligned initiatives and opportunities that feed and fulfill my deepest sense of purpose.
There are so many layers to this conversation! I, too, look forward to hearing from others regarding their own perspective and experiences.