The Importance of Values Alignment to Performance at Work

How to define and align your values with work

Steve Glaveski
8 min readMay 13, 2021


Whatever you think about Ayn Rand, it’s hard to argue with her idea that happiness is living in alignment with our values.

She wrote:

achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.

I Did It My Way

Values relate to our core beliefs about life and ultimately act as internal measures about how our life is going, and whether we need to take corrective action.

When we’re not living in accordance with our values, it feels like something is broken. We can feel more tension in the body. We are more susceptible to bouts of anxiety, sadness, and depression.

When we are living in accordance with our values, things seem to flow like water. We will still face difficulty, but we’ll do so in alignment with our core selves, so weathering the storm becomes easier.

It’s as Frank Sinatra sang:

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew

When I bit off more than I could chew

But through it all, when there was doubt

I ate it up and spit it out

I faced it all, and I stood tall

And did it my way

Sinatra lived in accordance with his values, and despite its challenges, he could look back with few regrets, and smile.

A Note on Inherited Values

Now, for the purpose of this article, we’ll put aside where those values came from.

It is likely that many of your values were simply bestowed upon you by family, friends, and society, and you may have never challenged them.



Steve Glaveski

CEO of Collective Campus. HBR writer. Author of Time Rich, and Employee to Entrepreneur. Host of Future Squared podcast. Occasional surfer.