I’m often asked what is the best approach to start the process of discovery…or rediscovering… one’s core values. I simply say “by going blank.” I know it sounds like a pretty basic response, but it is actually quite strategic in its dual meaning.

The first is literal. It means to start with a blank sheet of paper. An easier approach might entail looking at the list of others’ core values, or decks of cards to sort words out, or searching a list of 30 words to pick your “top three”…but it will rarely be more effective. The blank sheet of paper has a way to open your eyes as you simply try to draw the words from within. It can be a humbling experience in coming to grips on just how well you know your core. It can also be a powerful moment of inspiration to once-and-for-all become committed to naming what lies within.

The second is mental. In taking the blank sheet, above, people will often share that as they try to think of words to describe their core values, well, they simply “go blank.” It’s actually a wonderful place to start. We often have to unlearn and let-go of “assumptions” we have made or developed along the way to discover what is genuine, authentic, real and true. There is a lot of merit to starting with a blank canvas.

Going blank can be powerfully productive for any leader…and for the organizations they lead.
The blank sheet of paper has a way to open your eyes as you draw the words from within. Click To Tweet