Episode 21 image

Redefined Core Values

Julie reminds you how and why it’s important to have a set of core values and, how equally important it is to revisit them periodically



Over the past several months, you’ve been traveling with Julie on her journey to redefine her core values and she’s super excited to be reaching her destination and share these values with you. Throughout this episode, Julie reminds you how and why it’s important to have a set of core values and, how equally important it is to revisit them periodically. She talks about her previous set, mentions a few that have dropped off the list, and announces her new, updated list of core values and why she chose them.


Hey there, you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This in Business School,  a podcast about lessons learned on the business owner journey that only experience can teach.  I’m Julie Bee, and I’m really glad you’re here today with me. 

Today is the day, folks! I’ve finished the process of redefining my core values, and I’m going to share those with you in just a moment. But first, let me highlight the steps I’ve taken thus far.  

The first step in this process was for me to identify 5 or so hard decisions I’ve had to make over the past few years – hard decisions that I was proud of myself for making. I also noted some moments when I was extremely happy, as well.  

From there, I asked myself several questions about each of those decisions and moments. Questions about what I learned, the outcome, what I’d change, how it felt, and if anything unexpected happened.

At that point, I identified common themes, and then created a list of potential core values. I then shared that initial list with a few of my closest allies, and gave them some instructions on helping me with this process. 

They got back to me with their thoughts and suggestions about my list. Their feedback was invaluable.

Finally, I took all of that information, narrowed down the list, and I’m now proud to reveal my new, personal core values. They are courage, support, openness, integrity, playfulness. I’ll talk about each of these in a minute, but there’s one more step to do after you’ve identified your core values. 

The final step is to go back to those decisions and moments, and note which core values match up with each of those decisions and moments. Then you’ll have almost like a playbook that tells you, “This is how I show up in various situations, based on my core values.” 

Alright, so let me give you a little bit of insights into my new core values. Let me start with the major changes. Two of the biggest changes were removing my old core values of loyalty and generosity. Those have both been core values of mine for a very long time, but…they no longer fit. In fact, in my review of past decisions and moments, it became very clear that I have a tendency to be overly loyal and overly generous, and that has left me in a bad spot on several occasions. 

Now, that does not mean I’m NOT loyal and generous. I would say that I still am – and I think most people who engage with me would agree. I’m just more aware of my tendencies in that department. Removing those two characteristics as core values is a big step towards helping me recognize when I’m crossing my own boundaries, as well. 

Courage, one of my new core values, is something I have shown throughout my entire life – but funnily enough, it’s never been on my list of core values. I have not, in the past, had the courage to list courage as a core value. I had to do some work on that, to understand courage means bravery and confidence, not arrogance. It takes a lot of courage to admit when you’re wrong, or when you make a mistake. Arrogant people…they don’t admit to their mistakes. But courage was one that came up for not only me, but for everyone I talked with about this, so it’s definitely on the list of my core values. 

If you know me, or if you’ve gotten to know me through podcasts as we go along this journey together, I’m sure you’ve picked up on my openness and playfulness, as well as my integrity. These three core values really showed up in some of my darkest times, as well as some of my most joyous. These are central to who I am in many different ways, so they made the list.

The one that really surprised me, that wasn’t on my initial list but made it on my final list, is support. Shout out to my best friend Jess for naming it. She made a very strong case for support as a core value of mine. When I reviewed what the other three people said during this exercise, support was underlying there, as well. 

To me, support means showing up in a helpful way. Sometimes it means you walk alongside someone on their journey; sometimes it means you’re cheering them on from the sidelines. And sometimes support means you’re supporting YOURSELF and taking care of yourself, and saying no to others. Support can mean many things, but those themes all came up for me during this process. I am often someone’s biggest advocate, ally, and cheerleader. I’m also very aware of the support I need for myself, and I make space for it to happen. 

I’m really glad you’ve been on this journey with me, and I’m proud of my new core values – courage, openness, support, playfulness, and integrity. You may be asking yourself, “Now what?”

Well, new core values are kind of like a new pair of shoes or a new car – I have to break them in. Take them for a spin. Try them on and use them in my everyday language. Initially it will feel a little weird, but over time, it will just “be”. 

Now the task at hand is putting these core values into action. I will strive to make values-aligned decisions. I’ll become aware of when I’m more likely to make decisions that are not values-aligned, and how to avoid it. When I do make mistakes, I’ll see the values mismatch more quickly and will be better able to respond. I’ll also have a name for why something went wrong in the first place – being out of alignment. 

And this, my friends, is phase one of self-leadership. This is the foundation. It takes a while to build it, but once it’s built, leveled, and true – it provides a solid foundation for the rest of the self-leadership journey. I’ll get into that a little later on. For now, I’m going to soak up the goodness of completing a really important part of my self-leadership work – redefining my personal core values. 

I’m Julie Bee, and they don’t teach THIS in business school.