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The importance to spell out your values

It is important to spell out your own values to minimize your own internal conflict.

Your core values are the principles and standards of behavior you aspire to uphold as you pursue your goals. Work-related values might include respect for others, honesty, achievement, autonomy, and a commitment to learning.

Your core values: 

  • Are not universal rules but are guidelines that you freely choose
  • Persist over time
  • Serve to guide, not constrain, your actions
  • Are active not static
  • Allow you to get closer to how you want to live
  • Free you from comparing yourself to others

Use your core values to assess whether your actions are moving you closer to or farther away from the person you want to be. The more you act in ways that are consistent with your values, the more authentic you’ll be as an individual and as a leader.

As a simple exercise, make a list of the 6-8 values that matter most to you. Alternatively, write about a value that is central to your life. Listing your values in this way can: 

  • Strengthen your leadership skills
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase your willpower
  • Make you more open to different positions and opinions
  • Reduce defensiveness

When you recognize what you care about, you can let go of things that aren’t important to you.


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