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Our North Star

In the dark and treacherous times of slavery, African Americans sought freedom through the Underground Railroad. They learned to follow the “Drinking Gourd”, a term for the Big Dipper constellation, which pointed to the North Star (Polaris) that served as a guiding light. Using the North Star as their compass, they journeyed through perilous landscapes, aided by sympathetic individuals and safe houses. If they ever didn’t know whether to turn left or right, they need only wait until dark and look up (see picture for how you can also find the north star).

Likewise, all of us need a decision-making framework to know when to turn left and when to turn right.  What’s yours?

If you’re aligned with the people and company you work with, your company values should be this “north-star”.  Company values, if nothing else, are a decision making framework.

This might feel obvious, however we often forget this when we’re faced with a problem and unsure of what to do.

When was the last time you were stumped with a difficult decision and thought “if our values were a person, what would they do?”

Most people either forget or willfully forget when they don’t like the answer they get.

If you ever don’t know what to do: follow the values.

Even when it’s hard.

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