Do you ever wonder where core values come from? Or how they develop? They are the foundation that make us human. Core values develop by our needs and wants in life. They make up who we are, they guide your actions to help gain influence among others, to those who matter the most to us. The development of our core values is different for everyone. I happen to have found or improved three of my most important core values in my military career.
As Mandy Hale said, “Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing”. In my life I learned that I have to be adaptable. I realized that we can’t control everything we come across, but we can control how we handle it. I first developed this core value of adaptability when I was 18 years old. I just graduated high school in May 2015, and I was leaving to go to boot camp 2 months later. I had never been away from home and writing letters once a week wasn’t as convenient as a phone call. In boot camp I had to adapt to more than just being away from family. I had to be okay showering with 40 other females at the same time, using toilets with no doors to their stalls, waking up extra early in the morning, my whole life was different. Being in the military I have to be ready for change. Today, being stationed overseas, I have to adapt to new cultures, new rules, a whole new way of living. Sailors every day are getting kicked out from the Navy due to failure of adapting. As for myself, being adaptable helps me grow as a person, opens new doors full of new experiences, and challenges in life.
My second core value is quality of work. That indicates all of the following: accuracy, attentive to detail, consistency, high standards, and the most important following procedures. Quality of work is important to me because it shows how much you care about how you carry out your product. I first developed this personal value when I was in middle school, and it was influenced by my parents. It started with chores that I was assigned to every day after school. If my job wasn’t up to their standards, such as not washing the dishes properly, I would have to redo it. I learned very quickly that I did not like rework. My father’s favorite saying was ” Just do it right the first time “. As I got older, I started doing things above and beyond their standards and expectations. This core value is important in my personal life but also plays a big role in my professional life as well as improving when I joined the Navy. In the military I strongly encourage my junior sailors to do their job right the first time, following all the procedures, not taking any short cuts even if it may seem to take longer. I tell them to take pride in their work and for them to be proud of what they put out to the fleet. This core value of mine, is part of who I am.
Lastly, my third core value is being understanding. What most people don’t realize is that the military consists of people who are from all over the country and world. Everyone has different beliefs, national origin, color, sexual orientation and etc. With the Navy being so diverse, I have to be understanding of everyone in order to work better as a team to get the mission done. For my junior sailors, I can’t communicate to them however I want, I have to keep in mind that I need to be respectful and remember they could take offense if I say certain things or come across the wrong way. I cannot be selfish, self-serving or expect things to go the way I want them too. I connect with my Sailors better if I’m willing to be open minded when it comes to their concerns or complaints. Having the core value of being understanding helps the morale in my work center.
I acquired my strongest personal core values in the military. My experiences with the Navy have created, shaped and formed my core values. Remember core values develop at different times for everyone. They develop through our life experiences and our influences. You may come across them at a young age, you may already have developed them, yet they can still be improving throughout our life time.