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What Are Your Core Values?

Posted on September 6, 2018
Figures of 4 people with core value words embedded over their images.

Here at Goodwin College, we recently revisited our core values to ensure they speak to what we do every day. Most companies have a set of core values that serve to guide employees through every decision and every action. It is not uncommon to see a company’s core values posted on walls, tacked to cubby walls, etc. The idea is that as one looks at those core values every day, they will have both a conscious and unconscious influence on the employee’s behavior.

Have you ever thought about your personal core values? If companies create core values to guide decisions and actions, then shouldn’t you have personal core values to do the same?

There are three easy steps you can take to establish you own core values:

Create a list

Create a list of the values – I have provided a short list below to get you started, then add others that apply to you, ones that speak to your character, work ethic, approach to work, life, etc.

Here are some examples of personal core value words:


Rank the values

Take that list and rank them as follows: 1 – most like me, 2 – often like me, and 3 – generally like me.

Focus on the 1s.

Look at the 1s and determine which ones speak to who you are and who you aspire to be, choose no more than eight.

Once you have determined your list, ask a couple of friends and trusted colleagues and ask if the list is accurate. Ask them if there are any values you missed. Based on their response, adjust your list, and then post it where you can see it. Look at the list frequently, but especially when you are struggling, have a tough decision, or are questioning your path. And as your career grows, revisit the list every so often and update it as necessary.


Anne Converse Willkomm
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department Head of Graduate Studies
Goodwin College
Drexel University
Posted in professional-development-career-tips, leadership-management-skills