Basic Leadership: Determining Your Personal Values

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“Your belief or “values” (my addition) become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your destiny”


Defining your personal values and living them out are one of the most important steps a leader can take in cultivating a focused and intentional life. Andy Stanley, is often quoted as referring to these as “Be Goals.”  ie: Who do you want to be? If people looked at your life, would they be able to see the embodiment of these values in your life. Very often organizations have value statements, though I would argue I’m not sure how well these inform the day-to-day operations. However, that is for another post for another time. Today, it’s all about you! Your values, who you are and who you want to be.   In this post I will share 3 benefits of defining your personal values and I will even share some of my own.  This is Post 2 of the “Basic Leadership” series.

Disclaimer: There are too many benefits to list when it comes to having defined personal values. These are the first three that came to mind. I’d love to hear other benefits you think I missed in the comments below.

 Benefit #1 ~ Quickly Assess Everything

Life is full of opportunities. Some are helpful and some will be harmful. Whether it be in your personal life or professional life. Having clarity around your personal values will help you assess decisions, opportunities and the tactics you will use as you seek to achieve your personal and professional goals.

 Benefit #2 ~ Strengthen Your Identity

I often have a similar conversation, it goes like this.

     Anonymous Person ~ Darren, I’m not sure what I want to do with my life? Can you help me.  I have all these ideas, im just not sure which one is “truly me” and “what I was created for.”

     Darren ~ I’d be happy to help. However, before you determine what you will do, you must determine who you are.

 Benefit #3 ~ Increased Joy

Have you noticed that we live in world that runs at a frenetic pace? Don’t et me wrong, I love running fast, hard and long. BUT, when you run fast, hard, and long in a way that does not align to your personal values, you will burn out. Not only will you burn out, but your life will be filled with frustration, disengagement (always thinking about a different preferred future), and simply, it will be a life marked by un-happiness.  Want to increase “joy” in your life. Define your values and start living by them.

3 Steps To creating Your Own

1. Brainstorm An Initial List

  •  I recommend taking a clean sheet of paper and start by writing down words, statements, ideas, anything that comes to mind that you place a high value on.  This is actually a pic of my journal with me doing just that.


  • Use a primer of other leadership values. Some people like to create from scratch, others like to adapt. I’m more of an adapter. So, here is a list of leadership values which may spark something within you.
  • Here is a free template to help catalyze your thinking as you develop your own values.  This is one of many premium resources that will be offered through my “Go Live Your Life Already” e-book packages.  If you would like to stay updated on the launch of this book, sign up below.


2. Define the “Why”

  • ***This is Important*** So often people write down value statements, but they don’t do the hard work describing why that particular value is important. Values are fairly subjective. The importance of a value can be very different from person to person. So, do the hard work, and define the reason why this value is so important to you.
  • Personal Example:  Below is a screen shot my top 10 Values.

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3. Take Time

Most people, me included, (I’m likely the worst offender) rush through tasks way too fast.  Defining your values is a vital step in developing your leadership and achieving exponential success and growth in your life. Don’t rush it. Do the hard work. Reflect, take time, share it with other, collect feedback, refine and then declare!


  1. I would very much like to hear from, if you are willing, for you to share some of your values and why they are important to you.
  2. Again, if you would like to receive more information on the launch of my premium e-book, ‘Go Live Your Life Already“, it’s only one click away below.

Thank you for reading,


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About darrenherbold

Sr. Associate Pastor at Beulah Alliance Church. I am passionate about moving people & organizations toward decisions. I lead things. Thoughts are all my own. More on the About Page & don't forget to Subscribe to my Newsletter


  1. Adventure. In the true sense of the word, from the Latin, ‘about to happen’. Why? Because I know of few things with more capacity to take me beyond what I am, and beyond what those I walk with (beginning with my own family) are, than adventure. The narrative of my life includes many intentional adventures where we went out far enough to get beyond where we had control of all outcomes. It was there that we really were exposed (painfully and delightfully!). And by that, we connected, and learned. I saw reality more clearly. Why? because we looked forward to and into the next moment — and didn’t know what was ‘about to happen’.

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