Core Values

Question: What are your Core Values?

Successful people and successful organizations have a common factor that leads to sustained effective performance. This factor is seldom seen when the going is good. This factor delivers its high value when the road is rough and the going is tough. Steve Jobs is considered one of the most successful leaders the world ever knew. In this two minute interview he will tell you what I am talking about.


Your core values are what keep you going. Your core values are the rudders of your life. In good times they give you the assurance that you are on the right course. In rough times they protect you from ending on shores where you never intended to go. Regretfully, unlike successful organizations few of us take time to define or communicate our core values.

Here is an exercise that might help you start the process of writing your core values and sharing them with others.

  1. List key descriptive words that mean the most to you. Most likely you will start with a long list. That is OK. The next three steps will narrow your list.
  2. Which words in your selected list reflect what you are most passionate about or care about the most? Create an (A)list by placing an (A) beside your chosen words.
  3. Think of the words carefully then create an (A, B)list by placing a (B) beside any word that represents something that:
    • is unique about you and/or
    • You feel passionate about and/or
    • You are presently engaged in or form a significant part of your present or desired work or personal life
  4. Narrow your (A, B)list by selecting your five most important words.
  5. Write your five core value words in one to three powerful sentences that you feel passionate about and can easily recall and communicate with others as your core values.