Acting and communicating in a way that demonstrates our key values and that show others how to behave in order to fulfill the greater mission.


We all have a set of values and ethics but many times we haven't thought out our values/ethical stances well; we are on autopilot from childhood and our accumulated experience. People who are models of ethics and values have thought their values through, are clear about them, can deal with close calls by applying them, understand other value stances, speak up on these matters, and are reasonably consistent and in tune with those around them.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.Luke 6:31

Skilled Characteristics

  • Values Led

    Adheres to an appropriate and effective set of core values and beliefs during both good and bad times

  • Aligned

    Acts in line with those values

  • Responsive

    Rewards the right values and disapproves of others

  • Integrity

    Consistently practices what he/she preaches

In what ways have you successfully built in your team’s values into your meetings and/or decision making processes?

Unskilled Characteristics

  • Unaligned

    Values may be out of sync with those of the organization

  • Self-Focused

    Strong individualist with low concern for values of others; may set his/her own rules; make others uncomfortable

  • Reckless

    May play too close or over the edge for the organization

  • Thoughtless

    May not think about own values much and have no idea how he/she comes across

  • Variable

    Behavior may vary too much across situations

  • Self-Serving

    Values may be seen as too self-serving

  • Inconsistent

    He/she doesn’t walk the talk; says one thing, but does another

What are the core values that you have defined for yourself and your team to live by?

Causes of Weakness

  • Inconsistent

    Inconsistent values/ethical stances

  • Borderline

    Marginal values and ethics; operate close to the edge

  • Independent

    Overly independent; set own rules

  • Situational

    Applies ethical beliefs and values differently depending on the situation

  • Unclear

    Vague in understanding and communicating about one’s own values and ethical beliefs

Which of these weaknesses relate to you?


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

  • Consistency

    CONSISTENCY: People are bothered by inconsistencies between what you say and what you do. If you tend to say one thing but do another, people will see that as inconsistent and will say of you that you don’t walk your talk. Above all, align your actions and your mouth. Examine yourself and what you feel your core values are. Write them down the left side of a legal pad. For each one, see if you can write three to five examples of when you acted exactly in line with that value or ethic. Can you write down any that are not exactly like that? If you can, it’s the gap that’s the problem

  • Poor Language

    POOR LANGUAGE: Identify words you sometimes use that are in appropriate or demeaning. Also identify things you commonly exaggerate abot. Commit to stop using those words or language and ask others to help hold you accountable.

  • Situational Ethics

    SITUATIONAL ETHICS? People are more comfortable with consistency and predictability. Do you do one thing with people you like and quite another with people you don’t? Look for the three to five areas where you think these inconsistencies play out. Write down what you did with various people so you can compare. Did you do different things in parallel situations? Do you hold others to a different standard? Do you have so many value positions that they have to clash eventually? Try to balance your behavior so that you are more consistent across situations.

  • Mismatched Values

    MISMATCHED VALUES WITH OTHERS? If the group you work with has significantly different values than you, consider working with/for someone else. Or try to be a supporter of what you can and just be silent about the rest.

  • Double Standards

    DOUBLE STANDARDS? A common problem is having one set of standards for you and a different set of standards for others. Or one set for you and the people you like and another for everyone else. Do you do what you expect others to do? Don’t ask anyone to do what you wouldn’t do.

  • Clarify Your Values

    CLARIFY YOUR VALUES: Try to capture your value system on paper so you know what it is and are able to deliver a clear statement of it to others. Think about your past actions. How do you treat people? What are the values that underlie your actions? Are they the ones you want to be known for? Are they like the commonly held ethics and values of the organization you are in?

  • Old Values

    OLD VALUES? Times change. Do you or your values change as you grow and mature? Maybe it’s time to examine your personal values in light of the new today to see whether you need to make any midcourse corrections. Others may view your stances as simplistic or rigid. List five common areas where values clash for you at work. Talk to people who would go the other way and begin to see more complexity in the issue. Try not to judge, but instead listen to understand.

  • Change Your Behaviors

    CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIORS: Behavior is 10 times more important than words. What values do you want? Write your values down on the left hand side of the page. On the right side of the page list all that you will DO to demonstrate those values. Now do it and be accountable to someone!