Why being value-centred really is different

Many people will describe themselves as being value-centred. When you explore what they mean by that, you will usually find two groups of people:

a) those who talk about their values (plural): going on to quote such things as their creativity and innovation, their beliefs about quality or some other distinguishing trademark that makes them special

b) those who talk about their achievements: in which context, the word “value” is used as a synonym for superior technology, reputation, accomplishment or success.

On the surface, both groups use different language, but there is one common fixation usually shared by each of them is: a preoccupation with self.

Of course, there are exceptions; indeed, the exceptions usually stand out precisely because they are different. Indeed, if values (plural) –centred people really are values-centred, as opposed to self-centred with sophistication, then they may indeed talk about higher-order truths, such as beauty, freedom ,inspiration or joy… as opposed to using values as a vehicle to discuss their needs.

Whether they do or don’t, at VCO we use the term value-centred with very specific meaning: a person who is primarily motivated by the difference they want to make to people, organisation or even planet. Here are three distinguishing characteristics:

they talk primarily about other people’s success, not their own

if alluding to their own role, they talk about the value they create with their clients, not for their clients

the are curious about you and your world, not just using conversation for self-centred story-telling.

If you know one of these people — whether as colleague, supplier or friend — treasure them well. They are a rare breed. And if this is you, remember to look after yourself, too. Value-centred people live permanently on the cusp of overwhelm.