Did my last newsletter (click here to read) make you feel capable and motivated to be the BADA$$ leader that you are?Well, if it didn’t, this one’s for you.And, in case you missed the last one and just want the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front), here it is:To be the BADA$$ leader that gets sh*t done, you’ve got to turn to your values!
If that doesn’t excite you, you could be having some issues with your values:

  • You’re not completely clear about your values. (I’ve got to nail these down.)


  • You’re clear that your values are NOT aligned with the organization’s values. (WTF?)

Let’s unpack it.One of the most common questions I get in my coaching practice is “How will I know when it’s time to leave my company?” This is the $1000 double jeopardy question that answers #2 above.When there is misalignment in values, you’re receiving a huge red flag that it’s likely time to go.Values alignment determines how you experience your work life and your career.  Sure, you can achieve a level of success being inauthentic and untrue to your values, but will you enjoy the ride?  Absolutely NOT! And we spend way too much time working to not enjoy it!

MIS – alignment leads to MIS – ery. Read that again and believe it.

But if you’re not quite sure that I’m right. Check out these scenarios.

🤦🏽Your boss is an early riser, shooting off emails at 4:30 am. He declares in every staff meeting that he doesn’t need to hear back from his team on nonurgent items until they arrive at work and he doesn’t expect you to live by his work hours. He knows you arrive at 9 am, yet he’s following up with a 6:05 am text asking if you’ve read his (nonurgent) message yet? Really?? Can you say boundaries violation?

🤦🏽Your organization is highly recognized for its DEI efforts, winning awards each year. Yet, when you recommend creating a specific program for minority leadership development to address talent pipeline and glass ceiling issues that EVERYONE acknowledges exists, the response is, “That might be offensive to SOME people. Let’s do a program for EVERYONE.” Really?? EVERYONE doesn’t have a challenge breaking the glass ceiling, folks! Hmm, what’s the real goal here?

🤦🏽You’re hired into your role as a new functional leader. Your energy and passion for your subject matter are identified as key strengths and reasons for hiring you. Your leader says, “Be you! They’re going to love you!” as you prep for your first board presentation. After a successful meeting where the board does love you and you garner support, you’re pulled aside by your boss and asked to “be a little less passionate.” Really?? How can one be too passionate about one’s work? What does that even fricking mean?Whether you value managing your time and energy, authenticity, DEI, family, problem solving – whatever – when you’re in an organization where the culture continually steps on your values, you’re are consistently receiving tacit messages that say:

🙅🏽 “This is a culture of acceptable mediocrity!”

🙅🏽 “Who you are is not enough!”

🙅🏽 “Change if you want to be successful here!”You’ve got a choice to make, Bold Leader. Getting down to your deal breaker values (DBVs) is how you make that choice.Here’s how you identify your DBVs and determine your next move.

  • Identify your top 5 deal breaker values: What are the five top values that are most important to me in my life? Choose the deal breakers and must-haves for you – in life, not just work.
    Why? Because who we are doesn’t change when we log on, attend a meeting, or make a presentation to the board.
  • Take a closer look through the work lens: What five additional values are deal breakers specifically in my work life? Add to your list. No more than 10 values please! Get down to the true deal breakers, the ones that will cause you to walk away from a situation when they are violated. That’s the tough part. This is where the first tenet of authenticity – complete self-honesty – comes in.
  • Compare your DBVs to the values you experience at work: Examine your work experience closely. How do you experience your role and the company when it comes to those deal breaker values? Go through each of your DBVs and rate how well the company’s values align to each of yours. Rate each value comparison as ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, NEVER aligned.

(Corporate Soldier Sidebar: Most companies have great mission, vision, and values statements on the walls, their websites, everywhere. But cultures are formed by how values are expressed and experienced, not simply what’s stated. Evaluate the values expression and experience NOT the statements! You may find a separate set of unstated values that are part of the day-to-day experience!)

  • Tackle the Truth: Review each value and your assessment. Act accordingly.
  • NEVER: 🏃🏽‍♀️ Time to go!  There isn’t alignment between your deal breaker values and the organizational values. When this happens, we feel pinched, squeezed, compromised, and undervalued. There’s NO room for this in BADA$$ leadership. You’re not your best when you’re operating from of a place of “less than” authentic.
  • SOMETIMES: 👓Look at these closely. Are there unique situations or people that cause the misalignment? If it’s your direct leader or those directly above them, would a change in leadership help? Would a different role help? How significant is the misalignment? How often does it occur? Is it something that you can navigate and improve upon? If no, time to go!
  • ALWAYS: 🙌🏽No misalignment here! Lean into your authenticity and accelerate your success!

Bold Leaders, this is a tough exercise! This is where authenticity comes to the forefront. This is when we put our money where our mouth is. We must be honest and act. You can do this!Here’s the BLUF!BASIC Leaders settle for NEVER assessments and continue to work miserably in mediocrity.BOLD Leaders are willing to challenge the SOMETIMES assessments to find places and spaces to exhibit their boldness.BADA$$ Leaders only accept ALWAYS because anything less gets in the way of courageous excellence!Where are you in your journey? Can you take it to the next level?


PS. Here’s the link to my values assessment tool. Put it to work!