Careers Succeeding at Work Identify and Live Your Personal Values for Success Deeply Held Beliefs and Values Bring You Success in Life and Work Share PINTEREST Email Print Ed Freeman/ Getty Images Succeeding at Work Human Resources Employee Motivation Job Search Resources Hiring Best Practices Glossary Employment Law Employee Management Management Careers Management & Leadership Employee Benefits Table of Contents Expand Why You Need to Identify Your Values What Are Values? Value Statements Examples of Values Why to Establish Your Values By Susan M. Heathfield Susan M. Heathfield Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 10/29/20 If you'd like to experience the most success in both your personal and your business work life you will live them based on the values that are most important to you. To know what you value most, it is extraordinarily useful to spend some time identifying your key personal life values. These values will shine in the work values you exhibit. Sure, you can recite a few values that are important to you without doing this work. Most people can. But, if you want to use your values as a personal compass to light your way, you'll invest the time to seriously consider what you value the most. Why Do You Need to Identify Your Deepest Held Values? Understanding your own most deeply held beliefs forms the foundation for creating a life that brings you happiness, fulfillment, success, and even—joy. They provide the cornerstone that each individual needs for guidance and in making choices. Your values help you judge the appropriateness of careers and jobs for you. They help you select hobbies and volunteer activities. They drive how you interact with your colleagues and managers and govern your relationships with your family and friends. They affect your religious, political, and community choices as all are external manifestations of the values you hold close to your heart. Convinced you need to identify your values? You will want to start by talking about what values are and see some examples of values. What Are Values? Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces and beliefs. When you are part of any organization, you bring your deeply held values and beliefs to the organization. There they co-mingle with those of the other members of the company to create an organization or family culture. This culture either serves your organization's goals effectively or it does not. (If not, you may want to consider how to change your corporate culture so the culture supports the accomplishment of your full organizational potential.) Value Statements Value statements are derived from and grounded in values. They define how people want to behave with each other in an organization, an institution, a company, or a family. They are statements about how the organization will value customers, suppliers, and the internal community. Value statements describe actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the organization. In one organization, a university health care center, all of the employees helped to identify the organization's core values. They ended up with the acronym, I CARE. Integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence were the values identified. Then each department took each of the values and developed value statements that the employees believed best exemplified the values in action in their department. An example of a value statement was, "We will keep no student who needs care waiting for more than fifteen minutes." Another was, "No student will need to remove items of clothing until they were seen by a doctor and the removal was deemed necessary for a proper examination." The following are examples of values. You might use these as the starting point for thinking about and articulating your own values as a human being. Examples of Values ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistence, optimism, dependability, flexibility, change Why Identify and Establish Your Values? Your values are made up of everything that has happened to you in your life and they include influences from your parents and family, your religious affiliation, your friends and peers, your education, your reading, your experiences, and more. Effective people recognize these environmental influences and identify and develop a clear, concise, and meaningful set of values/beliefs, and priorities. Once defined, values have an impact on every aspect of your life. They form the foundation for your decision making and your relationships with other humans. You demonstrate and model your values in action in your personal and work behaviors, decision making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction.You use your values to make decisions about priorities in your daily work and home life.Your goals and life purpose are grounded in your values. Choose the values that are most important to you, the values that you believe in, and that define your character. You will want to adopt them, commit to them, and then live them visibly every day of your life at work and at home. Living your values is one of the most powerful tools available to you to help you become the person you want to be, to help you accomplish your goals and dreams, and to help you lead and influence others. A value-based and principled person is most able to create a successful and fulfilling career and life. Don't waste your best opportunity.