As 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.
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 email@example.com.