Last week, I shared the four values I founded Collective Reach on. Today, I want to talk about how your core values can help you fall back in love with your work.

My inbox this morning had about 15 emails with subject lines like, “Romance your customers” and “Love your donors.”

Valentine’s Day is fertile ground for love-related marketing. But when you’re the marketer, sometimes it’s important to back up and check in with your own heart.

Graffiti of a heart balloon lifting a person. Let your heart guide you. Know your values.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

When you’re in charge of communications for your organization, it is essential for you to believe in the work you do. You can’t effectively inspire this feeling in others if it’s not coming from an authentic place in you. It’s also hard to constantly maintain a blazing passion for your work. You know your organization better than almost anyone, warts and all, and it’s easy to get worn out by all that cheerleading.

Core values guide your work.

This is where those core values come in. Your organization likely (hopefully) has a set of core values that help define its identity. These often accompany your mission and vision statements. Whereas mission defines what you do and vision defines the world you hope to see as a result, values set the parameters for how you do what you do.

Why does this matter?

Sometimes, the thing that’s keeping you busy doesn’t seem to directly benefit the people your mission serves. Or resources are scarce and the red tape is thick and you wonder what difference you’re really making.

But, if you feel good about your organization’s core values and have internalized them, you can fend off burnout.

Seriously, it works. Post a list of your organization’s values by your computer monitor, and the next time you feel discouraged or stuck, read through them. How can you be courageous, or demonstrate respect, or leverage innovation, or otherwise use your values to guide your actions?

Of course, if an organization just pays lip service to its values rather than integrating them into its identity and actions, this practice won’t fix everything. But even in those circumstances, e.

So yes, today is the day to romance your donors, spread the love and all that. Just remember not to neglect your own relationship with your organization, and if you need to fan the flames of your passion for the work you do, look to your core values.

Featured Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

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