Inside out development: why aligning beliefs with actions is key to sustainable peak performance

How do you motivate your team? Ensuring that they have a vested interest in the work that they do is key. Royston Guest, author and authority on growing businesses and unlocking people-potential, shares some useful – and practical – insights on leading your team and, ultimately, improving work ethos and productivity

Who are we? 

We are our values and beliefs; our moral principles, or accepted standards, which guide our thoughts, feelings and, ultimately, our actions. If you ask your people to take action which is in alignment with their values and beliefs will they do it?

Absolutely – 100%!

If you ask your people to take action that is not aligned with their values and beliefs, they might perform in the short-term, they might do it because they think ‘they have to’ but, the one thing for certain, is that they will certainly not do it over the long term. It will not become habitual. In fact, it will create such conflicts and tensions with their personal values that it could, ultimately, result in them leaving the organisation.

Why this moral decorum?

Because people never consistently do who they aren’t. That’s a clumsy play on words, but it’s deliberate. The flip side of this expression of course is people will consistently do who they are.

Misalignment of personal and organisational values is actually cited as one of the top three reasons people leave an organisation. Leaders misunderstand how values inflexibly influence behavior.

I’ve met with many leaders who are frustrated because objectives are not being met and, with the best intentions, they’ve implemented a behavioural change programme to bring about positive change. My starting point is always to positively challenge their thinking because they’re attempting to get the wrong result.

The science of behaviour

Behaviours aren’t whims; they are driven by core values. It’s certainly not effective just trying to change behaviours unless we understand an individual’s values and how they align with the organisation.

Values are deep-rooted; often based on religion, traditions, usually learnt in childhood and passed on through generations, they are not necessarily the result of conscious decision. Over time, you may be able to change them, but it’s difficult. It’s much easier to find people whose values align with yours in the first place.

Beliefs, on the other hand, can be easily changed when they are challenged by factually-based information that contradicts them. Beliefs lead us to act in very deliverable ways. Unless your people can make a connection between their actions and their values and beliefs, they may be incapable of delivering a sustained result.

What makes you tick?

And that is where the challenge lies. Most organisations – and, even more importantly, their leaders – do not invest enough time in understanding what really makes their people tick, why they are doing what they do, what’s motivating them to do it and what are their values and beliefs which drive their subsequent behaviour.

Aligning your people’s personal values and beliefs with those of the organisation is critical to unlocking their potential. Don’t leave it for your people to have to make this connection themselves. Hot wire the two together so that people truly buy-in and are coming into work every day being the best version of themselves and, as a result, do their best work.

Another purpose

Every person experiences important moments in their lives but, in business, there is one that stands out above all others: the moment a person changes from someone with a job to someone with a purpose. While the motivation to do so much comes from within, the triggers that compel them to make the switch are ones the organisation and its leaders can create by aligning their personal values with the organisational values.

About the author
Royston Guest is a global authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. He is CEO of Pti-Worldwide, author of #1 best-selling business growth book, Built to Grow and founder of livingyourfuture™.  Follow him on Facebook or Instagram. Connect with him on LinkedIn or check out his weekly blog at

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