The Leadership Workout: Identify your Values

Jené Kapela Develop your leadership ability

ValuesAs a leader, it is essential that you act in ways that are congruent with who you are and what is important to you. In order to lead others, you first must understand how you lead yourself. You must know what your values are and how they guide your decision-making.

Your values are what influence you to think and act as you do. These are the things you believe to be most important in your life and to which you give priority. They are a part of who you are.

Values are intangible – they are not something you can do or have. Values are neither positive nor negative. They have nothing to do with morals or ethics. There are not some values that are “better” than others, and values are neither “right” nor “wrong.” A certain value might have a different meaning for you than it does for someone else. This is okay.

Can you list your top three values (quickly, and without having to think too hard)? If so, you are well on your way to self-leadership! But if not, here is a quick and easy exercise that will help you identify your values:

  • At the bottom of this page you will find a list of over 250 values. Either print this list or copy and paste it into a Word document.
  • Circle or highlight the values that have the most meaning to you. You should aim for between 20-30 values. Do not select values just because you like them or because you think you should have them – only select those you believe you possess and that have true meaning for you.
  • Out of the values you selected, pick the ten values that have the most meaning to you. Write these ten values on a separate piece of paper.
  • Narrow down the list from ten to five by circling the five values that you feel are most important to you.
  • Now, out of the remaining five values, pick your top three values and rank order these.

Once you have identified your top three values, write them down in the following format:

My top three values are:




Now, next to each of your values, define what each value means to you. Do not try to give a “correct” definition for each value – instead, describe the value in your own words.

Through this exercise you should begin to see how your values are connected to the choices you make in life. My next blog post will focus on how values influence your decision-making and ways you can use values to improve your leadership ability.

Values List

Abundance    Acceptance     Accomplishment     Accountability     Accuracy    Achievement     Acknowledgement    Activeness     Adaptability     Adoration     Advancement     Adventure     Affection     Affluence     Aggressiveness     Agility     Alertness     Altruism     Ambition     Amusement     Anticipation     Appreciation     Approachability     Approval     Artistry     Assertiveness     Assurance     Attentiveness     Attractiveness     Audacity     Availability     Awareness     Balance     Beauty     Belonging     Benevolence     Boldness     Bravery     Brilliance     Calmness     Camaraderie     Candor     Capability     Carefulness     Caring     Caution     Certainty     Challenge     Change     Charisma     Charity     Charm     Cheerfulness     Clarity     Cleanliness     Clear-mindedness     Cleverness     Comfort     Commitment     Commongood     Community     Compassion     Competence     Competition     Completion     Composure     Concentration     Confidence     Conflict-resolution     Conformity     Congruency     Connection     Consciousness     Conservation     Consistency     Contentment     Continuity     Contribution     Control     Conviction     Conviviality     Cooperation     Cordiality     Correctness     Courage     Courtesy     Creativity     Credibility     Cunning     Curiosity     Daring     Decisiveness     Decorum     Deference     Delight     Dependability     Desire     Determination     Devotion     Dexterity     Dignity     Diligence     Direction     Directness     Discipline     Discovery     Discretion     Diversity     Dreaming     Drive     Duty     Eagerness     Ease     Effectiveness     Efficiency     Elegance     Empathy     Encouragement     Endurance     Entertainment     Enthusiasm     Equality     Ethics     Excellence     Excitement     Exhilaration     Expertise     Exploration     Expressiveness     Extravagance     Exuberance     Fairness     Faith     Fame     Family     Fearlessness     Fellowship     Fidelity     Fitness     Flexibility     Focus     Forgiveness     Fortitude     Freedom     Friendliness     Friendship     Frugality     Fun     Generosity     Giving     Gratitude     Growth     Guidance     Happiness     Harmony     Health     Helpfulness     Heroism     Honesty     Honor     Hopefulness     Hospitality     Humility     Humor     Image     Imagination     Impact     Independence     Individuality     Influence     Ingenuity     Innovation     Inquisitiveness     Insightfulness     Inspiration     Integrity     Intelligence     Intimacy     Introspection     Intuition     Involvement     Joy     Judiciousness     Justice     Keenness     Kindness     Knowledge     Leadership     Learning     Liberty     Liveliness     Logic     Longevity     Love     Loyalty     Making a difference     Mastery     Meaning     Meekness     Mercy     Meticulousness     Mindfulness     Modesty     Motivation     Nature     Neatness     Nonconformity     Obedience     Open-mindedness     Openness     Optimism     Order     Organization     Originality     Outrageousness     Partnership     Passion     Patience     Peace     Perceptiveness     Perfection     Perseverance     Persistence     Persuasiveness     Philanthropy     Piety    Playfulness     Pleasantness     Pleasure     Poise     Popularity     Power     Practicality     Pragmatism     Precision     Preparedness     Presence     Pride     Privacy     Proactivity     Professionalism     Prosperity     Prudence     Punctuality     Purity     Rationality     Realism     Reason     Recognition     Recreation     Refinement     Reflection     Relationships     Relaxation     Reliability     Relief     Reputation     Resilience     Resolve     Resourcefulness     Respect     Responsibility     Restraint     Risk-taking     Sacredness     Sacrifice     Safety     Satisfaction     Security     Self-control     Self-expression     Self-improvement     Selflessness     Self-reliance     Self-respect     Self-worth     Sensitivity     Sensuality     Serenity     Service     Sharing     Significance     Silliness     Simplicity     Sincerity     Skillfulness     Solidarity     Solitude     Sophistication     Spirituality     Spontaneity     Stability     Status     Stealth     Stillness     Strength     Structure     Success     Support     Surprise     Sympathy     Synergy     Teamwork     Thankfulness     Thoroughness     Thoughtfulness     Thrift     Tidiness     Timeliness     Tolerance     Tranquility     Trust     Trustworthiness     Truth     Understanding     Uniqueness     Unity     Usefulness     Utility     Valor     Variety     Versatility     Victory     Vigor     Virtue     Vision     Vivacity     Warm-heartedness     Warmth     Wealth     Willfulness     Willingness     Winning     Wisdom     Wittiness     Wonder     Worthiness     Youthfulness     Zeal

Jene Kapela, Ed.D.

You can contact Jene at

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