Have you ever stopped and asked yourself the question: “what is driving me”? What causes me to get up every morning and do what I do? What drives me? What motivates me? I want you to pause for a moment and ask yourself this all important question: “what is driving me”? That all powerful force, drive, motivation that is behind me is propelling me into my tomorrow. There are one of two polar opposite driving forces that drive every single individual. You may not realize it, but these two driving forces are very real. These two driving forces are as different as day and night, a Volkswagen and a Lamborghini, a putter and a 4 iron, and as far as the east is from the west. Simply put these two forces are: values driven and performance driven. You are either driven by performance or you are driven by values. It really does make a difference what you are driven by.
In the performance driven environment you are focused on the “what” and the “how”. It is all about “what” I do and “how” I do it that matters in this environment. It is all about performance. It is about shining under the spotlights. If I can just out perform the competition I will be the winner. This environment is all about winning no matter the cost. As long as I am number one it doesn’t matter how I get there just as long as I get there.
Sadly there are many with this attitude. Winning no matter the cost is the mantra of this environment. Whether it is in your personal life or corporate life this performance driven environment will not last. As long as I can get to the top it doesn’t matter who I wrong, who I hurt, what rules I break, because it is all about being number one. We know the right words to say to get the promotion. We know exactly how to do this or that in order to advance. We are specialists with what we do and how we do it. We have done this thing for so long we can do it with our eyes closed. What happens is we fail to take advantage of opportunities because we are so laser focused on the mechanics of “what” we do and “how” we do it. We fail to make a difference in our world or someones life because that is outside of our preconceived ideas of “what” and “how”.
Our culture today is all about performance. We say things like “I’ve got to do this” or “I’ve got to go there” or “I’m in a hurry” and the list goes on and on. Society has put an expectation on us to perform no matter what. I am doing this particular thing because this is what I am supposed to do, and this is how I do it. Performance becomes mundane and monotonous. We end up just going through the motions of life day after day. Like the rat in the wheel syndrome – a lot of performing but not going anywhere. In the performance driven environment there is no clear purpose, and this is the reason so many get frustrated and just completely burned out.
A values driven environment is polar opposite of a performance driven environment. In a values driven environment purpose is clearly defined. The focus is on “why” I do what I do, not on “what” I do and “how” I do it.
In order for a culture to be created you must first clearly define your purpose. The “why” has to be clearly defined before you can do anything else. If you are struggling to clearly define your “why” I would recommend you read the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Once your “why” is clearly defined, then you must set your values. You need a value system in your organization, department, group, family, church, etc.
It is your values that drive you. That value system of principles that govern your entire life is what gets you up in the morning to do what you do. Each of us were created for a purpose. You are not just “accidentally” here on planet earth with no purpose whatsoever. No, you were fearfully and wonderfully made as the psalmist David put it. When your purpose is clear it changes the atmosphere around you. The “what” and the “how” become the byproducts of your “why”. Discover your purpose, and watch how your life, outlook, and attitude change. A performance driven individual says “do I have to go to work today?” whereas a values driven individual says “I get to go to work and make a difference today!” When your values drive you; decisions are easier to make. Start paying attention to places of business you go to, coworkers you work with, people you go to church with, and yes even family members and you will begin to recognize who is performance driven and who is values driven.
When you understand your purpose or “why” and you put in place a value system you will then see your life begin to change. When you understand your “why” you can endure any how. I challenge you to be values driven and not performance driven. Uncover the purpose in your life, and make an impact on everything and everyone around you.
I close with the words of a very wise man who once told me that “a values driven environment will always outperform at performance driven environment”.