Questions of Value
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 12:38PM
Julian Sturton in Questions, difference, leadership, questions, value

What is value?

At the most basic level, value is the essence of measurable sustainable success. We seek value in everything, for it defines the quality of each moment. Accordingly, we determine what shall happen next by the design or intention of such defining moments.

Where there is a measurable difference, value is at the core. Is it not true, therefore, that when we make a difference, we separate what has already happened from what is going to happen?

All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Further exploration

Following the most basic definition, we may ask a series of questions concerning value.

Is value important? Is value one of the vital elements of life itself? Can we get by in life without things of value? Is value part of what makes life itself sustainable? If value is an answer to something that is missing, then what is the question? If the one thing that is constant is change, then is value a necessary component of change?

Has value, like gravity, always been around? Perhaps it has, but we just never distinguished or measured it the way we do now.

Perhaps there are no universal answers to these questions. But to the degree we explore and test them for ourselves, we stand to gain the most.

Making a sustainable difference

Research has shown that the greatest motivator for people in the workplace is the opportunity to make a difference. The mission of the Harvard Business School is to “educate leaders who will make a difference in the world.”

Is your time of value and importance to you? Do your relationships have value? If so, perhaps it is because you realize you have the ability to make a measurable difference to someone’s life.

On that basis, will the very next interaction you have with someone make a difference to that person? What will you say? Will you speak words to make a difference or will you be left simply being right about something?

Putting value to the test

We live in a constantly changing society; a society so competitive that it demands of us to surrender all unwarranted habits. At the very same time, our habits are like memories which remind us of comfortable times. Comfortable times with familiar memories compel us to do what we have always been used to doing, rather than making a difference. Making a difference challenges the status quo.

The challenges of modern day competition highlight the importance of value as means to achieve success. Value measures the substance of what we offer to ultimately make a competitive difference.

By consistently performing competitively and by doing things differently, we deliver sustainable value. If we don’t differentiate from what we have always been doing or if we do not make a difference against what we already know, we will not succeed.

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Article originally appeared on The Language of Leading (
See website for complete article licensing information.