Facilitator + Trainer + Creative Coach |
Based in Connecticut, Working Worldwide

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a image of a lifeline with blocks of text with brief notes on significant life events from a fictitious person's life

How important are values to leadership success?

How important are values to leadership success?

“Tell me what you pay attention to, and I will tell you who you are.” ― José Ortega y Gasset

That quote came to mind recently when I was preparing to facilitate a session on values and leadership to a group of mid-level managers. We kicked off with the lifeline reflection, a deceptively simple but powerful tool.

The set-up is easy: Take a sheet of paper, turn it vertically, and draw a line across the middle. This line serves as the baseline. Next, starting with your early years, you plot the watershed moments in your life. Place anything above the line that you feel was a “positive” moment; events and experiences that you deem “challenging” go below the baseline.

If you’ve been on this earth for any length of time, you’ve experienced lots of pivotal moments. Here are some examples shared by one of the participants:

* got a college acceptance letter
* met a mentor at a networking event
* lost their job 
* launched a business
* lost a loved one 
* made partner
* was rejected for a promotion 
* met their life partner

When I facilitated this exercise for these emerging leaders, I was pleased to see that the group was able to accurately identify this person’s core values.

What about you? If you shared your lifeline and those significant milestones with people you trust – family, friends, a mentor, your colleagues – would they be able to discern what matters to you

What events and experiences would you feel comfortable sharing?

Where and why might you hold back?

For leaders, business owners, and any individual who wants to make decisions that are aligned with their values, doing this type of self-reflection can be very eye-opening. 

Teams can also benefit from charting their individual lifelines + values and then, with the help of a skilled facilitator, exploring where these come into play at work.

Curious about bringing this kind of organizational development and team building to your workplace? Reach out to me and let’s talk!