Are you leading yourself in alignment with your values?

Discover a 3-step framework to help you clarify your values, examine your beliefs and actions, and identify areas of misalignment. Gain the tools you need to bridge the gap and lead with greater integrity and self-awareness.

Read time: 4 min.

👋🏽 Welcome to Inner Frontiers for Outer Impact, a weekly newsletter that provides self-leadership insights that help you develop 4 key leadership capacities: Mindset, Courage, Resilience, & Innovation.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there!

In today's email:

  • 😉 No one likes a nag: But you should listen to that nagging question about whether you are leading in alignment with your values.

  • 💭 Food for thought: Who’s got room for seconds? Second opinions, that is.

  • 🗣 Quote: Maslow’s musing on personal growth.

  • 👍 Tell me what you think: Please complete a single-click poll at the bottom of this email.

Leading in Alignment with Your Values

Am I leading myself in a way that is consistent with my values?

This is a question I have been exploring for several months. If the answer is “no,” then what am I doing to address it? Spoiler alert: I made several changes over the last few months to address areas out of alignment.

In today’s email, I want to offer you a framework to explore the same question and address what you discover.

Why does this matter?

Because leading yourself from a place of alignment with your values has a positive impact on your mindset. Here are just a few ways:

  • Greater self-awareness

  • Improved decision making

  • Increased resilience

  • Reduced internal conflict

But how do you know if you are leading yourself in a manner consistent with your values?

Here are 3 steps you can take to reach your own conclusion:

1. Clarify your values ✍️

Values are what you assess to be important in life.

The U.S. Army has 7 core values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage (LDRSHIP). During my 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Army, I developed a deep understanding of what those values represent in theory and practice. Those 7 values shaped my behavior and played a pivotal role in developing my identity.

After retiring from the Army and launching Excellence Unbounded, I spent time reflecting on what my core values are in this new chapter. Here are the 4 that I identified: Love, Respect, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

What are your core values?

Identify them, reflect on why they are important to you, and how they shape your identity. Limit yourself to no more than 7 values. After all, if everything is important, nothing is.

Make time for this exercise.

2. Conduct a Values Crosswalk 🔍

Now that you are clear on your values, make time to engage in this crosswalk exercise that allows you to examine your beliefs within the broader construct of your values. Follow these steps:

  1. Identify beliefs 🤔

  • For each core value, list beliefs you hold that relate to that value.

  • These beliefs can be about yourself, others, society, or the world in general.

  • For example, if one of your values is honesty, a related belief might be "Honesty is always the best policy, even when it's difficult."

  1. Examine alignment 🧩

  • For each belief, consider how well it aligns with the corresponding core value.

  • Ask yourself: "Does this belief support and reinforce my value, or does it contradict it?"

  • Rate the alignment on a scale of 1-5 (1 = strongly misaligned, 5 = strongly aligned).

  1. Reflect on actions 🤔

  • Think about your recent actions and behaviors related to each value-belief pair.

  • Ask yourself: "Do my actions consistently reflect my values and beliefs?"

  • Identify specific instances where your actions aligned or misaligned with your values and beliefs.

  1. Identify areas of cognitive dissonance 🧨

  • Look for value-belief pairs with low alignment ratings or where your actions consistently misalign.

  • These areas may indicate cognitive dissonance, where your beliefs or actions are inconsistent with your core values.

  1. Explore reasons for misalignment 💡

  • For each area of misalignment or cognitive dissonance, consider the reasons behind the inconsistency.

  • Ask yourself: "Why do I hold this belief that contradicts my value?" or "Why do I act in ways that don't reflect my values?"

  • Identify any external influences, fears, or beliefs that may contribute to the misalignment.

These steps lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of yourself and areas ripe for personal growth.

3. Take action 🚀

When you have identified areas of misalignment:

  • Create a plan to address them and reduce cognitive dissonance.

  • Set specific, measurable goals for aligning your beliefs and actions with your core values.

  • Identify the steps you can take to overcome fears, change behaviors, and challenge beliefs that do not serve you.

  • Regularly review and reassess

Connecting the dots 🎯

The time you spend on this will help you see yourself more clearly, which will positively impact your mindset. Here’s why.

When you are more conscious of your thinking, beliefs, and blind spots, you can take steps to address them. This improves your decision making. The clarity you gain from this introspection bolsters your resilience.

These shifts empower you to lead yourself in a way that is more consistent with your values.

As you engage in this reflective exercise, what support do you need to sustain values-aligned leadership of yourself long-term?

Other Perspectives

A guide for identifying your Top 3 personal values (link)

Bringing clarity to what you value (link)

Tap into the power of knowing your values (link)

Use reflective practices to connect with your values (link)

Adam Grant’s perspective on values and beliefs (link)

Parting Words of Wisdom

You either step forward into growth or
step backward into safety.

Abraham Maslow

Thank you for reading today’s email!

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How I Can Help You

🚀 CEO Coaching Programs: Are you a CEO who wants to:

  • Skillfully navigate uncertainty 

  • Lead confidently

  • Drive results 

Developing greater leadership capacity in 4 key domains (Mindset, Courage, Resilience, & Innovation) will empower you to do all three.

Book time here to learn about the bespoke 1:1 coaching programs I deliver. During this call, we will talk about your challenges, your goals, and how we might partner to fully “unbound your excellence.”

🎤 Speaking Engagements: My mom can attest to the fact that I LOVE to talk. 😂 Now, I put that talent to work delivering talks on Mindset, Courage, Resilience, & Innovation.

A few past clients include KraftHeinz, Amazon Women @ Payments, PAHEi, & the Panamá Chapter of the International Coaching Federation (this talk was delivered in Spanish).

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Have a fantastic week,