Core values are the principles that serve as your guiding philosophy. People with values have greater purpose and fulfilment in their lives.

This is why it’s important to identify your core values.

According to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh:

“Your personal core values define who you are, and a company’s core values ultimately define the company’s character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny.”

As the third element of vision, core values shape your behavior and decisions, guiding you to your chosen path.

To determine your values, you need to go through a process of self-discovery. Thankfully, you’ve already done this in the previous sections.

Core Values are

  • Principles
  • Guiding Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Moral Code

Core Values are not:

  • Corporate Rules
  • Operating Practices
  • Business Strategies
  • Competencies

How to identify your Core Values

When identifying your core values, it’s best to come up with a list of characteristics that represent your vision, goals, and priorities.

Although there’s no limit to how many values you can pick, remember to keep your list short — not more than five or six values.

More importantly, core values aren’t something that you just pick because you want them. Values are something that you discover through reflection and introspection.

Core Values examples

Below is a list of core values that are commonly used by leaders and companies.

  • Authenticity
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Authority
  • Autonomy
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Boldness
  • Compassion
  • Challenge
  • Citizenship
  • Community
  • Competency
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Determination
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Fame
  • Friendships
  • Fun
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Honesty
  • Humor
  • Influence
  • Inner Harmony
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Meaningful Work
  • Openness
  • Optimism
  • Peace
  • Pleasure
  • Poise
  • Popularity
  • Recognition
  • Religion
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Self-Respect
  • Service
  • Spirituality
  • Stability
  • Success
  • Status
  • Trustworthiness
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom