Personal Values Exercise

Personal values are those things that are important to you. Think about what you believe and stand for, and your convictions about what is most important in life. While many organizations have statements of their values, in our experience many people don’t take the time to identify their own values. We believe there is great power in making our values explicit and communicating them with others via respectful dialogue. Values matter because what you deem important guides your behavior. Many people run into trouble when they start living and leading in ways that conflict with their values.

Instructions: Below is a list of common values for you to peruse. Start by choosing ten words that reflect what you value most. Some of the words are similar, so choose the words that best describe what you value. Feel free to substitute other words if they better reflect your values. This exercise should take less than 30 minutes.

Narrow that list of ten down to your top three to six values—ranked in order of importance—and explain further (e.g., explain specifically what you mean by each one so that it is actionable and will guide your behavior and decisions) in a phrase or sentence. (Form the first letters of each word into a memorable acronym if you wish.)








Bob and Gregg Vanourek, father and son, are co-authors of the book, Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations (an International Book Awards winner, and called “the best book on leadership since Good to Great.”). To get Gregg’s manifesto on Leadership Derailers (and how to avoid them) and free book chapters from Gregg’s books, including Triple Crown Leadership, check out his Free Guide.