I had the great good fortune to attend FranklinCovey’s FOCUS training with several members of my team last week. One of the exercises they give you is to select 4-9 core values and write positive clarifying statements for each. I just finished up and, since one of my statements is “I openly share my values and invite discussion,” here they are:

These are the values which drive my life. On my best days, this is who I am; on my worst, they still mostly apply (I hope …)


I actively seek challenges that excite me.

I convey my excitement openly, genuinely, and infectuously.

I urge others to identify their values, tap into their passions, and get going!


I consider the circumstances of others in my dealings with them.

I assume the best and most constructive motivations on the part of others.

I demonstrate my ignorance of others’ circumstances by asking positive, open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers.


I live by consistent values in a transparent manner, without regard of what’s at stake or who’s watching.

I make decisions based on my values and what’s right for the situation and people involved, not what’s most personally beneficial or most expedient.


I share my values openly and invite discussion of them.

I express compliments and concerns freely and frequently, in ways that will be heard and is not hurtful to others.

I make a point of complimenting the good work of others. I share compliments I’ve heard with the subject of those compliments.

I share concerns in ways which make them actionable for others.

I hold myself and others accountable for mistakes. When appropriate, I fully acknowledge my role in bad choices and work to make things right.


I step into unowned problems and help find them a home.

I constantly seek to improve my vision of the best possible future and articulate it to others in a way which allows them to act independently toward that end.

I look for opportunities to mentor others in growing in line with their personal values.

I help others engage in long-term critical thinking and help them recognize that they are fully empowered to act as a force for positive change.


I take opportunities to do small kindnesses and good deeds whenever I can.

I relieve pain wherever possible.

I seek first to understand.


I do not allow concerns about my personal well-being to prevent me from addressing a problem.

I take positive, direct action even when I dread the work or the outcome.

I seek creative solutions to intimidating problems, pursuing the most positive outcome for all involved.


I meet my commitments. I do not take on commitments which I know I can’t meet.

I manage expectations openly and clearly.


I use humor to defuse tension and relieve pain.

I always look for and share the humorous aspects of challenging or grim situations.

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29 September 2008


leadership thinking