• Adam Tarnow

The problem with core values

Core values. All the leadership gurus talk about them.

"A core value is something you're willing to get punished for."

- Patrick Lencioni

"Your core values are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul."

- John Maxwell

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are."

- Roy Disney

"The first step to being an effective leader? Identify your core values."

-Me, summarizing all the smart leadership teachers

The experts are clear—core values matter.

But I see a disconnect. Though many leaders I encounter agree core values are essential, they can't clearly articulate their core values.

Why is this? Is all this talk about core values one big "do what I say, but not what I do?”

It feels similar to when I was a new parent. All the veteran parents would say, "Cherish these newborn and toddler years. They are precious!"

That sounds like advice from someone who never followed that advice. I have never met a parent who is doing anything other than trying to survive the newborn and toddler years. The only thing most new parents cherish is sleep.

So, what's the deal with all this? Are core values important or not? Why don't more leaders take the time to identify them? These are the questions we explore in the latest episode of Here's What I'm Seeing.

We cover a lot in less than 27 minutes. We discuss some of the problems we see with core values, how to determine your core values, and how to know if you are living outside of your core values.


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