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Leadership and Understanding Core Values

How you make decisions and the way in which those decisions affect you are all tied into what your core values are. Your core values and beliefs are the fundamental roots of who you are as a leader. They also influence the way you work and how you respond to certain situations. When you are presented with a problem, the way in which you handle the problem will tell you a lot about how you lead and what values are most important to you.

Examples of Core Values

This can range from honesty to commitment to creativity. A quick Google search can help you find a list, but I recommend using this exercise by Carnegie Mellon University that helps you narrow down your core values to the top 5. These are the most valued beliefs you live your life by. 


How to Understand Your Core Values

When we interact with others, make decisions, our work ethic, and everything we do is because of what we believe and what we value. Our moral code is what influences us leaders. A manager who values collaboration will lead a project differently than one who values power. If there is an employee who is constantly late, a manager who values flexibility may not take as harsh of measures as a manager who values punctuality. By knowing your core values, you’ll understand your leadership style and your own perspective. 

Applying Your Core Values

Once you have been able to identify your true core values, you’ll begin to realize what serves you as a person, as a leader, as a friend, etc. When you live in alignment with your beliefs and values, you’ll lead better, make choices with clarity, let go of what isn’t right, and engage in a more fulfilling life. 


Everyone is different. And even though we are influenced throughout our lives by family, peers, teachers, bosses, and simply the world around us, at heart we each value different things. It’s up to us to name those things and put them into practice. Being a great and effective leader depends on it. 

This article was written by Ron Nursey who is a member of the John Maxwell leadership team. If you are interested in growing yourself and your business please reach out to me in an email at RonCNursey@gmail.com.

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