Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Values or valuables?

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Which is more important: values or valuables? This, of course, is a personal question that only you can answer for yourself. In a recent episode of Live on Purpose Radio, Dr. Paul talks with Jake Carlson and Jon Gledhill about this key concept: it’s more important to pass values on to your posterity than to give them valuables. Too often passing on a large inheritance to your children and grand children causes unintended problems. It’s an engaging discussion that I highly recommend.

When it comes to leading a company, which is more important — values or valuables? Too often company executives focus on hitting the numbers for the next quarter and winning at any cost. The focus on near-term ‘valuables’ at the extent of long-term ‘values’ can prevent companies from reaching the success to which they are striving.

It’s obvious that values are not necessarily associated with long-term thinking, nor are valuables necessarily connected to the short-term. However, in life and in business, when you focus on values and apply their associated principles to every aspect, you tend to concentrate on more long-term consequences. You have to be patient, especially in difficult economic times. But the patience pays off in the long run.

What values are important to you? How does your organization place values before valuables? Please leave a comment and share your experience.


The Product Management Perspective: As a product manager you need to focus on both values and valuables. Your values will determine how you interact with other teams and with customers; they will facilitate your leadership. The valuables are the products you (and your teams of course) produce. They are key to your company’s success. Focus on leading with values and creating valuable products.

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2 thoughts on “Values or valuables?

  1. Thank you for discussing this question. Its one that I can use in my work…

  2. Rodney, I’m happy to hear this discussion is useful for you. Thanks for leaving a comment. -Michael

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