Daring Leaders Are Clear On Their Core Values

When we are at our best and living in our core values and beliefs, our actions and behaviors line-up. Others can visibly see our values playing out in the things we do, how we do them and the decisions we make. 

Brave leaders know that taking the time to get clear about their core values is critical to building trust, self-confidence and being consistent in their actions. Their values guide their decisions, what they spend their time working on and provide a foundation for leading through the tough times. Living in our values is not always easy and takes courage to face criticism or pressure when we make an unpopular decision to do what’s right verses what’s easy. 

If you find yourself making decisions that feel at odds with your principles or justifying actions in spite of a nagging sense of discomfort, you may need to get clearer on your core values.  

Here’s how to start identifying your core values: 

1.    Consider what you care most deeply about. What’s most important to you?  Write down these words. 

2.    Get clues about your values by interviewing 3 colleagues and friends. Ask them to name the 2-3 values they would guess are most important to you. Write down what they tell you and then consider the below:

o  Which words resonate with you the most? Underline those words.  

o  Which don’t resonate with you? Why not? Put an X by those.

3. #BreneBrown the author of Dare To Lead suggests this approach: “Think of a specific time when you were in a hard situation where you showed up in a way that you were really proud of. When you walked away you were like that was hard, I’ve got a vulnerability hang-over but I like who I was in that conversation. I feel good about how I showed up. I feel good about what I contributed in that conversation. Back into the list with moments that have really specific examples of how you were strong – write down what you were leaning into.”

4. If you still are unsure if you've captured your true core values, take a look at the list below to see if any of these words inspire you. You may need a few days to contemplate your values. I know I did. Put this exercise aside for a couple of days and then come back to it. 

What's next? 

Work till you have a good list of 10-15 value words. Now comes the tough part, after you’ve given your values some thought, take that list down to 5-7 words and then finally down to 2-3. These 2-3 should be the ones that drive all the other original words you picked.

Consider how your core values are reflected in your life right now? How do you lead by and live by them? How do they guide and support your decisions to speak up about hard things? 

  • Accountability 

  • Environmental 

  • Efficiency 

  • Ethics 

  • Excellence 

  • Fairness 

  • Family 

  • Financial stability  

  • Friendship 

  • Generosity 

  • Harmony

  • Health 

  • Honesty 

  • Humility 

  • Humor/fun

  • Independence

  • Integrity

  • Intuition

  • Leadership

  • Achievement 

  • Ambition 

  • Attitude 

  • Authentic

  • Awareness 

  • Balance (home/work)  

  • Coaching/Mentoring 

  • Commitment

  • Community 

  • Compassion 

  • Competence 

  • Continuous learning 

  • Cooperation

  • Courage

  • Creativity

  • Ease with uncertainty

  • Enthusiasm 

  • Entrepreneurial

  • Listening 

  • Making a difference

  • Open communication 

  • Patience 

  • Professional/Personal growth 

  • Power 

  • Recognition 

  • Reliability 

  • Respect 

  • Risk-taking 

  • Security

  • Self-discipline 

  • Success 

  • Teamwork 

  • Trust 

  • Wealth 

  • Well-being 

  • Wisdom

  • Wholehearted 

I’d love to hear what you discover about yourself. Post your values in the comments section. Let me know what questions you have. 

Bring the value clarity & courage building Brene' Brown Dare To Lead Workshop to your organization in 2019. Contact me today to learn more. 

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