There’s a big difference between values and preferences. Preferences can be negotiated and adapted based on the person and the situation. Values, on the other hand, are meant to be non-negotiable and should never be compromised, says Harry Kraemer, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, in a recent post on his blog, Harry Kraemer on Leadership.

Kraemer notes that some people (and companies) compromise their stated values, making exceptions for special circumstances. He focuses specifically on how sexual harassment is sometimes tolerated and overlooked if the doer is a high-performer, a CEO or a political candidate in a tight race. That kind of compromise can be a “very slippery slope to go down,” he warns.

Kraemer suggests taking time to slow down and self-reflect to determine what your values really are so you can learn to apply them consistently. Ask yourself: What are my non-negotiables? What is my purpose? What do I stand for?

Read the full post: “If Your Values Are ‘Negotiable,’ I Have Bad News