Motives are emotional drivers, nonconscious in nature, linked to brain biology and neurochemistry. Values are conscious beliefs, developed from experiences, socialization, upbringing, and personal epiphanies. Both can be defined in terms of the "big three" which account for 80-85% of daily thinking time:
Achievement (focus on improvement and innovation), Affiliation (focus on friendly interpersonal relationships), and Power/Influence (focus on influence and impact).
You'd think that a person's values might line up with his or her motives at least partially--but if you do, you'd be wrong!
McClelland, Koestner, and Weinberger proposed that motives and values were whole different levels in a paper some time ago, and a few researchers have since validated their belief--they don't correlate. One meta-analysis (combining multiple research findings) came up with a correlation of, I believe, 0.07--which is basically zero. This means that your motives and values can be completely different, and probably are.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. The difference between an adult and an infant is (besides height, weight, body shape, and hormones) the ability to act out of thought and not just impulse and emotion. Let's look at the contrast between motive and values.
For a given task, you might have a high value or a low one attached to it--that means it is important to you or not. Similarly, you might have high motivation attached to it or not, meaning it is fun and enjoyable or not. Since values and motives have no correlation, that means you can have tasks that are:
1. Enjoyable AND Important (Highly motivated AND high in value)
2. Enjoyable BUT Not Important (High motive BUT low value)
3. Not Enjoyable BUT Important (Low motive BUT high value)
4. Not Enjoyable AND Not Important (Low motive AND low value)
This is a gross oversimplification for illustrative purposes, of course--but it is useful.
Something that fits #1 goes to the top of your priority list: it's fun and important--what's not to like? Likewise, #4 drops off the list entirely. Who cares?
The middle two, however, are sources of internal conflict. When you do something you shouldn't do but don't know why, that could well be #2: fun and motivated, but not important and valued. That's the "guilty pleasure" quadrant. Remember motives are not conscious--things you do but don't know why may be coming from your motives. (This is why writers are often incoherent when trying to describe why they write. On one level, they don't know!)
#3 is the "gotta do" quadrant--like taxes, for example, or taking out the garbage. You don't want to, but you should. The stronger the value, the more likely you are to do it, but these are the things people put off.
The relative strength of the motive and value can make for a higher conflict as well--something that is VERY FUN but contrasts with something VERY IMPORTANT can be agonizing. Especially since a mature adult will probably go for the important task, which means the motivational energy gets backed up and frustrated.
Operating out of values can be frustrating; operating out of values can be fun but guilt-provoking.
Sometimes one can channel the other. Philip R. Craig, the mystery writer, told me he thought it was unacceptable to him to manifest his power over any other person. But he is a mystery writer who thinks about the misuse of power, and furthermore is a college professor. When I tell people about his "day job" they usually laugh hysterically at the idea that a college professor does not manifest will over others. But Phil didn't (and doesn't) feel that way. There is a clear values distinction to him between telling people what to do and offering ideas and concepts for influence--or so I infer. Phil's Power motive is channeled into what is to him an acceptable role: writing and teaching. But he won't be a politician or even a manager. That is the positive channel, but what if, for example, Phil came from a family that felt even more strongly about manifesting your will over another? Or saw college professor as unacceptable as well? What would he do? How would he express that emotional energy--because make no mistake, your motives do not go away just because they are not being used...and they might manifest inappropriately.
I keep returning to motives, because they are the source of emotional energy, and thus a source of more power (so to speak) in terms of human conflict. Value versus value is important too, but must be written carefully, or it could conceivably become fairly bloodless. When I see this done well, it is usually because there is a lot of motivational energy invested in the values as well. For example, the brother of the Unabomber helped turn him in. That is on one level a values conflict: do you protect your family, or obey the law and support society? But on another level, it is profoundly emotional. Affiliation versus Influence--or even Affiliation versus Affiliation in the sense of caring about others.
There's a reason why academic discussions of ethics don't have a lot of popular appeal!