How Do You Define Values? What Are Yours?

Spoiler alert #1: As you’ll see below, one of our core values at Templeton Academy is that wrestling with good questions is more important than reciting the correct answer.

That said, rather than jump right into the rest of our list of values, let’s dig into the first question from the title: How do you define values?

Madame Google tells me that values are “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.”

I was recently forwarded a podcast from a thoughtful friend — The Knowledge Project Ep. #18, Naval Ravikant: The Angel Philosopher. Naval is the co-founder, chairman and former CEO of AngelList, and 39 minutes into the podcast, he offered a wonderful definition of values: “a set of things that you will not compromise upon.”

He elaborates, “Foundational values to me are things that I’ve looked at very, very carefully about myself. And I deliberately chose them and said, you know what, this is a habit. This is a way of life and I’m not going to compromise. I’m going to stay this way forever. I just don’t want to live life any other way.”

But perhaps my favorite part is his admission that while clearly he’s thought quite a bit about values, he’s never fully enumerated his. 

Curious if you’ve enumerated yours? If not, please humor me and take a moment (or three) to do so.

Spoiler alert #2: You’ll thank me later!

And yet, we’re talking about individual values. What about an organization’s values?

To this end, Madame Google simply differentiates that organizational values are “the beliefs, philosophies, and principles that drive your organization.”

Spoiler alert #3: As you’ll also see below, another one of our core values at Templeton Academy is the importance of the individual and the collective. That true purpose is about the self and the selfless, about using your gifts in a way that brings you joy and serves others. 

That said, like Naval, we’ve thought a lot about this, but before this blogpost they were not enumerated on our website. So without further ado…

Templeton Academy’s Values

  • Students first.
  • Each Student is on their own unique journey to discover not if they’re smart, but how they’re smart. 
  • The best fuel for that journey is empathetically wrestling as an individual and a collective with good questions rather than reciting the correct answer. 
  • The best questions naturally motivate us to love learning to know, learning to do, and most importantly, learning to be or finding our purpose.
  • Your purpose is your why – your story of how you will use your gifts in a way that brings you joy and serves others.

This leads me to one final, timely piece of wisdom from Naval — something we all probably know intuitively, but he articulates it nicely: “A lot of finding great relationships… is finding other people with whom your values just line up and then the little things don’t matter.” 

Now, this is a tricky sentiment in a world where a lot of people are currently in conflict. But I’ll try and make it easier in a way that is aligned with our values and our  Culture of Inclusion that is clearly enunciated on our website:

  • If you’re a Student, parent, or educator whose individual/organizational values line up with ours, let’s talk and learn together.
  • If you’re looking in a different direction but you’re willing and able to share your individual/organizational values, then let’s talk and learn together!

Either way, thanks as always for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.

My very best,