Monday, October 17, 2011

Leading with my Top 5 Values

“Leadership is ultimately about creating a way…an environment for people to feel the emotion of contribution – to make something extraordinary happen." 
- Steve Gutzler

I am trying really hard to be true to who I am. Not to be who others think I should be. Not to be who I think others think I should be.

I want to be a leader. A leader in my own life. A leader of my family. A leader to others. I want to contribute positively to this world. And positive influence - no matter who you are - is possible. It starts with you. Personally, of course, it starts with me.

Part of this process has been really thinking hard about what makes my life click in a positive way. What brings be joy? What does my moral compass push me towards? What is it that I want to achieve in my life?

Well, I have taken to doing a great deal of thinking around what my core values are. I actually spoke to a friend who is a great leader and life coach and he encouraged me to do this exercise. I thought - hey...good call!

And it is shout-out time! The leadership coach, who is also an emotional intelligence expert and inspires people to "Play Big" and be the best people they can be - his name is Steve Gutzler.

Steve Gutzler

I have been working with him of late on some writing projects that will bring attention to his non-profit organization called Compassion2One. I talked about this great charity before in my recent post Sex Trafficking: Let's Pay Attention! I ask that you take another look. I will be writing some pieces that speak to this issue from a mother's perspective and also from a Canadian perspective.

Steve doing his good work with his organization Compassion2One

Steve's coaching, emotional intelligence and leadership work is also highlighted on his website I would suggest starting with his blog which is very inspirational and full of motivation. You can find it here.

I am always looking to have better focus in my life and to live in the present while working towards goals that are in line with a life that will keep me happy, healthy and fulfilled. What are the central points of focus I want to live my life around?

Not to say that some of these can't change, but today, this is what my top 5 values are:

  1. Family & Friends
  2. Health - Mind, Body & Spirit
  3. Authenticity
  4. Helping Others / Giving / Kindness 
  5. Positive Creativity
This is not to say that there are not many other things that are very important to me and to the way I want to live my life. But when I really look at these values, they do encompass many of the activities and accomplishments that I strive to do and achieve.

Let's take a closer look at each one.

Family & Friends

Now these values are not necessarily in order of importance, but this one is a no-brainer and certainly belongs in the numero uno spot, both on this list and in my heart. I am guessing many of you are the same...but the question is, are you living your life in line with this? Always take note of what you really feel are your priorities in life and then take a long, hard look at how you are actually living that life.

Family and friends have always been number one in my heart...but I have to admit that the way I have lived my life in the past has not always totally reflected this. Work was a high priority at different times for example. Now don't get me wrong. If you have a family and / or close friends and you have a very busy career and that is a priority to you, that does not mean family / friends are not valuable to you! It is all about how you balance your life. This is meant to make you think. To perhaps make a few shifts. It is not about making you feel guilty or wrong or that you have your priorities all screwed up!

Personally, the work I was doing became more about building the resume, making more money, and frankly, it was starting to make me miserable. It was affecting my family and my health, and I was not being true to who I really was. I was feeling less and less authentic. I felt I was not helping others in the way I wanted to, and the negative energy was draining.

Hey! Lookie there! I think I have just touched upon all of my other top values! It is funny how they all seem to intertwine like that!

Health - Mind, Body & Spirit

This is also a big one...and one I struggle with daily. It really does cover a lot of ground! So here I am talking about my physical health, my mental and emotional well-being and my deeper, spiritual connection to something higher than myself. Whew! Sounds overwhelming right?

Well, is! But it is something I have to break down into baby steps, otherwise my goal to be healthy does a 180! For me, eating healthy, well-balanced meals with good portion control and nothing too restrictive is key as I am trying to lose that baby weight. Kind of a "no-diet diet". on that for more!


My readers know this is a biggie for me and also a constant work in progress. When you are surrounded by and responsible for a number of different things and people, being true to your authentic self is difficult. But I have learned, many times over, with many bumps and stumbles, that if you don't stay true to who you are, you start to realize that who you wake up to in the morning...that person you look at in the mirror...well...that they start to look more and more unfamiliar. You wonder where you went? What happened to me? What happened to the person I thought I would become, the person I am striving to be, the person I know deep in my soul that I am?

I know this all sounds very deep and philosophical. Well...that is cause it kinda is. And it is really, really, really important. Really. I can't say that enough. Really.

Helping Others / Giving / Kindness

The easiest way to get anything that you want is to give. It is pretty simple actually. If you have heard about the Law of Attraction - well, there it is. I posted about this a while back, and you can read about it a bit more here. If truly is a key, universal law that what you sow, you reap.

It is very important to me that I have a positive impact on the people I come in contact with. That is not to say I do all the time or that I am never negative. We certainly all have our moments, me included! But being kind, giving back and extending a helping hand to the people you come in contact with every matter how small or huge an act...they all add up to build your character and make up the pieces of the puzzle to create who you are.

Your huge. And can move the pieces around. You can take pieces out and put new ones in. Puzzles are...well...puzzling. But keep plugging away. It is amazing the wonderful image you can create!

Positive Creativity

This blog is something I started because of my strong need to create and extend positive messages into the world. Being it through my writing, my art, my home decor projects, performing, doing crafts with my is like breathing to me. I need to be creating new things in order to be happy. I have been this way most of my life, but I have finally realized that it needs to be one of the central components.

Some days are better than others. Some days I feel negative and don't create much more than food to feed my family. But hey! Family! My values are intertwining. See how it works? See how those puzzle pieces come together when you are focusing on your values?

I know this post is kinda all over the place. And that's OK. Pobody's Nerfect.

My call to action for you is to put some thought into what your life looks like today. What needs to change? What do you want your life to look like tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year? You get my point...

And the point point yourself in the right direction. One step at a time.

One piece of the puzzle at a time.

What are your top 5 values? Let me know!




  1. Wow! So strong that I am going to have to chew on it to digest it before I can really comment. Jam packed with information of substance. A message that matters, Lora.

  2. You really are leading -- with your words! There's a lot to think about here.
    Thanks so much for sharing!


  3. Great post. You always have interesting images to go with stories you are telling. Thank you for letting us see this side of you, makes me think about myself as well.

    with love,