As we now know, crucible or proud leadership moments are great places to discover clues about ourselves. From here, one of the most important steps we can take in our personal leadership journey is to identify some core values.
It sounds simple enough, but it in reality, it can be a little tricky to condense our many values into 2–3 primary choices…What do we prioritise when it all feels important to who we are, and what we stand for?!
Here, as inspired by the work of Brene Brown, it’s often helpful to think of our core values as the ‘roots’ that branch out to all of our beliefs and principles. So, as an example, it’s not that we must choose to only value Love, Courage and Growth — it’s simply that we might identify these 3 words as being the best representation or ‘birthplace’ for our many other ideas, beliefs and principles. At the end of the day, it’s much easier to make decisions and to build habits around 3 core values, as opposed to 20.
If you’re feeling a little stuck when it comes to finding those 2–3 ‘roots,’ many of our clients explore derivatives of Love and Courage when choosing their core values. These two powerful values not only connect to our fundamental human needs for Love & Connection and Curiosity & Growth, but they also help with the ongoing journey to own our stories, no matter the conditions… Making them solid foundations for just about any personal leadership journey.
No matter what our core values are, it’s also important that we start to define them in our own words.
We each have a unique relationship to these ideas, and almost every word in the English language has multiple meanings. What ‘Courage’ or ‘Love’ means (and how it’s expressed) will be different for all of us. That’s what makes this process fun and empowering! You get to play around with what your values mean to you, and edit this definition as often as you like.
So, let’s look at putting this into action.
Choose 1 value from your list — this might be a newly-discovered core value, or perhaps a derivative of Love or Courage. Next, brainstorm what this value means to you in your own words:
To me, _______ is about…
Don’t be afraid to be playful here, referencing specific people, places, or phrases that shape your personal connection to this value. This is an important part of owning your personal values — that all important ‘lighthouse’ within your life story.
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