Episode 10 Image

Defining Core Values

The first step in self-leadership is defining, or redefining, your core values.



In this episode, Julie shares an update on her journey of self-leadership. The first step in self-leadership is defining, or redefining, your core values. In this episode, Julie shares her work going through step three on her path of redefining her own core values, which results in her initial list of core values.


Hey there, this is Julie Bee, and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach THIS in Business School. Thanks for tuning in! Before I forget, please be sure to subscribe to this podcast on your favorite app – Spotify, Google, Apple – it’s available wherever you prefer to stream podcasts!

Over the past few months, I’ve done a lot of personal core values work. As a quick review of my story, about 8 months ago I realized my personal cover values had changed because I was making decisions that felt very out of alignment for me. I wasn’t sure what my new core values were. I had some ideas, but I knew it was time to go into my process and redefine them. 

I have completed the first few steps, which are to identify some decisions over the past few years that I was proud of. Then I dig into those with questions like, “What was the driving factor in this decision?” and “What did I learn about myself?” There are several other questions that I ask myself and take notes on. 

I shared what those decisions and moments were in a past episode – I’ll be sure to include a link to that episode in the show notes. 

Then, I reviewed my answer to the first couple of steps in this process, and identified some similar themes. From there, I selected 10-15 words or phrases that kept showing up in many of those themes, decisions, and moments. 

THIS is one of the most fun parts for me because the work leading up to this step was really hard work. Now I get to reap the rewards. 


Hey, this is Julie Bee, and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This in Business School. Today I’m updating you all on my journey of redefining my core values. I’m currently on the step where I take all the challenging work I’ve done up to this point and create my initial list of personal core values. I aim to select 10-15 words or phrases at this point, knowing this list will ultimately be refined to about 5-7 main core values in the upcoming steps. 

As I reviewed those decisions, many themes kept coming up for me. Freedom, resilience, willingness to change, openness, and self-reflection were big ones. Family and friends were big themes behind many of my moments of joy. A lot of the decisions had elements of awareness, my capital T Truth, and gut feelings. Also valuing and respecting others really showed up. There were several other themes, but those were some of the more prominent.

From that list of themes, my next task was to identify 10-15 possible core values. This is always more challenging than I think it will be. The themes I identified could easily have 5 core values EACH pulled from them, and I had about 12 themes. 

So what I did next was meditate ON those themes to really get a sense of what I needed to go deeper into  – to really hone in on the essence of each of those themes. If you don’t like meditating, that’s cool. You just want to spend some time thinking about the themes. 

And finally – FINALLY – I came up with an initial list of 13 core values, which are: Respect, Curiosity, Creativity, Compassion, Openness, Resilience, Freedom, Joy, Courage, Integrity, Team, Intuition, Awareness. 

Now remember, this list will be refined to only 5-7 core values, so this isn’t the final list. But it’s the start of that final list, and I am so relieved to be this far in the process. I’m already gaining a lot of clarity for upcoming decisions and I’m much more mindful of what’s happening around me these days. 

Alright, so as a quick review, here are the steps I’ve done thus far, in case you want to go through a similar process.  

Step One is to identify decisions you’re proud of and/or moments in your life that were some of the best moments you remember. You want an even mix of decisions and moments. For decisions, you want to note the driving factors of those decisions. For the moments, you want to note how those moments made you feel. 

Step Two is to note the impact those decisions and moments had on your life, especially any unexpected impact. You also want to note what you learned about yourself, especially what you learned is important to you and what’s not. 

Step Three is where I am right now – what this episode is about. Step 2 is where you review what you found in Steps 1 & 2 and look for repeating themes, feelings, emotions, and things you learned about yourself. From that list of themes, you create your initial list of 10-15 core values. 

Then you put that work aside for a few days or maybe a couple of weeks. I definitely took an entire week away from this list. I highly recommend you meditate on those themes and the initial list. If meditating isn’t your jam, that’s totally fine, just take some time to think about the themes and your initial list. After that time, come back to Step 3, briefly review your work, and make sure those initial 10-15 core values feel good to you. 

Once you are set with your initial list of 10-15, then you’re ready for Step Four. I’ll share a podcast about that in the next couple of weeks, but I will tell you it takes a great deal of courage and vulnerability. But you know what they say – the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I’ve found that to be very true.

As I move forward on this path, I’ll continue to share my journey of redefining my personal core values with you. This is all on the path of self-leadership, and I believe this is where one must start to lead with integrity. You have to know yourself, after all, in order to lead others. I really hope you find this helpful in some way.

Thanks for listening to They  Don’t Teach This in Business School. Next week I’ll be back with a fantastic interview with another business owner that you do not want to miss, so stay tuned!