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Business Plan

Values Exercise - Top Five

What is it?

Character strengths and values are critical for a well-functioning team and/or leader to excel. When we play to our strengths, we are seen by others as authentic, powerful, and impactful. This assumes we don’t overdo them to the point of excessiveness or shy away from what feels authentic and truthful. From the neuroscience-based Tilt365 model, we can measure character based on four basic human

character strength meta-factors:

The ability to collect facts and discern with judgment

Needs: Significance

Fears: Inferiority

The ability to live with acceptance and create balance

Needs: Belonging

Fears: Abandonment

The ability to take action and seek justice

Needs: Power

Fears: Vulnerability

The ability to create new ideas and live with purpose

Needs: Freedom

Fears: Constraint

How Does It Work?

From research firm Blessing White, when Values are accentuated in organizations, intrinsic motivation is strong, and employee engagement and happiness are high. Your top values are your strongest motivators, your greatest source of joy when satisfied, and your greatest sense of frustration and disappointment when unsatisfied.

Things to Consider:

Absolute or “Should”?: Ask, “How did this value become important to me?” No matter where values come from, you must be clear on whether a value is internally driven—an absolute value—or externally driven—a “should” value driven by society, family, or friends. Don’t shape your career around “should” values.

Means vs. Ends: Ask, “Why is this value important to me?” If the value is important as an end in itself, you will answer “just because,” with no logical explanation, or “It’s just the way I am.” But if the value is a means to an end, you will answer in terms of another value.

Words vs. Actions: Ask, “Do I really live my life consistently with this value?” Review the values you say are important to you. Are your everyday decisions and behaviors consistent with them?

Pleasant Memories: Ask, “When was I happiest, proudest, or most excited?” Think back to two or three situations and ask, “Which values were well satisfied by this occasion?” Chances are that these values were—and may still be—very important to you.


Let’s dive in a little deeper to see what Values are important to us as guiding principles.

1. Review the list of personal values on the next page. The descriptors are meant to spark your thinking; they are not dictionary definitions. You can even add a value that you don’t see listed.

2. Think about all aspects of your life. Mark the values most important to you as “high” (H). Then mark those least important to you as “low” (L). Go with your first reaction. Try to identify at least the following:

• 8 “High”s (Hs)

• 8 “Low”s (Ls)

3. Next, prioritize. Check (Ö) the 3 (and only 3) values that you feel are most important to you. Don’t choose what you think you should value. Select the values that truly shape your behavior and decisions.

Values Summary – Identify Your Top FIve


High (H)
Low (L)

Top 5 (Most Important)

Achievement (attaining goals, sense of accomplishment

Advancement (progress, promotion)

Adventure (new and challenging experiences, risk)

Affection (love, caring, fondness)

Competitiveness (striving to win, being the best)

Cooperation (collaboration, teamwork)

Creativity (being imaginative, inventive, original)

Economic Security (steady, adequate income)

Fame (renown, distinction)

Family Happiness (close relationships with family members)

Freedom (independence, autonomy, liberty)

Friendship (close relationships with others, rapport)

Health (physical and mental well-being)

Helpfulness (assisting others, improving society)

Inner Harmony (being at peace w/ yourself and others)

Integrity (honesty, sincerity, standing up for beliefs)

Involvement (participating with and including others)

Loyalty (commitment, dedication, dependability)

Order (organized, structured, systematic)

Personal Development (learning, strengthening)

Pleasure (fun, enjoyment, good times)

Power (influence, importance, authority)

Recognition (respect from others, acknowledgment, status)

Responsibility (accountability, reliability)

Self-Respect (belief in your abilities, self-esteem)

Spirituality (faith, strong spiritual and/or religious beliefs)

Wealth (abundance, getting rich)

Wisdom (discovering knowledge, insight, enlightenment)

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