Principles vs. Values

Principles are universal rules of humanity that you can fall back on when you need support. Values are like beliefs or opinions. There are fundamental principles as well as values in both humanity and business.

Examples of fundamental human principles are:

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Justice
  • Respect

Examples of business principles are:

  • A good investment provides a return
  • A product should cost less to make than you sell it for

Examples of human values are:

  • Sex before marriage is wrong
  • A woman has the right to have an abortion
  • Gay marriage is acceptable
  • Family success matters more than business success

Examples of business values are:

  • Sales are all that matters
  • Quality doesn’t matter
  • Profit at all costs

Our sense of integrity may be impacted by the extent to which we live our lives and run our businesses with our values and principles in alignment.

Although we are given values at random based on our upbringing, and we often find ourselves in jobs or careers that support business values that seem incongruent with what we believe, it is never too late to take an inventory of yourself and your situation.

Take steps toward realigning your personal and business values with the principles that matter to you most in life.