My Seven Core Values

One of the things I have all my coaching clients do is to create a list of “Core Values” for themselves.  Values are like the banks of a river, a road map, or a compass. They help us decide what to do and what kind(s) of people we invite into our teams. 

41 years ago I attended a Steven Covey seminar.  I believe their main purpose was to get me to buy their materials and concepts, but the Lord had another reason for my being there. 

The first day of the seminar the leader asked us to make a list of our most cherished values…values that we wanted to live by and have as a foundation for our life and work.  I made the list then and there and I still have it; and, by his grace, live by it as I make decisions and follow Jesus. 

I thought you might find it interesting and instructive to see what I wrote down over forty years ago.  I’m not sharing this list to have you emulate it, but to get you thinking about what your values might be.

I (Dave Kraft) highly value:

1.  Immediately responding to God’s revealed truth

“Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5 ESV) I want to continue to develop the consistent habit of doing what God tells me to do without procrastination or making excuses for myself. Sometimes he shows me things directly through scripture, sometimes through my own thinking processes and sometimes through other people, like my wife Susan. Whatever He’s  making clear to me, I want to “Just Do It,” as Nike says.

2.  Being a person of Integrity

With so much falsehood and deception all around me, I want to be a person who has integrity and can be trusted to tell the truth at all times–even when it’s uncomfortable or costs me something.

3.  Listening/Loving/Learning/Laughing

I tend to be serious-minded and want to continue to grow in laughing–especially at myself–and not take myself too seriously. Additionally, when it comes to those in my sphere of influence (especially my family), I want to listen well, love well and continue to learn from everybody.

4.  Continuing to develop myself spiritually, mentally, socially and physically

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52 ESV)

I am set on being a life-long learner and want to grow in all the ways mentioned in this verse. Admittedly, I don’t need to grow anymore physically (either upward or outward) but I do want to take care of myself physically through adequate sleep, exercise and eating the right amount and the right stuff. The older I get the greater the challenge is for me.

5.  Staying faithful to my purpose of developing leaders

I am called to be a leader developer, helping to equip and empower the next generation of leaders in local churches. I don’t want to allow the good to become the enemy of the best, so will be very protective and prayerful as to what I choose to do keeping my purpose, calling and vision in mind.

6.  Being first and foremost a Christian husband and father and grandfather

Being a husband, the father of four adult children and the grandfather of seven poses challenges for me. I will make time to connect consistently and invest significantly in all 12 of them.  Next to my relationship with Jesus, my family is my highest priority. Being the task-oriented leader I am, I often fail at this, but I will not give up or give in.

7.  Taking sufficient time to pace myself and finish well

To practice what I preach, I will have a good Sabbath ethic as well as a good work ethic, and will pace myself well so that I am a “Leader Who Lasts.” To do this I need solid accountability and will have some men, my wife and my kids, continue to ask me the tough questions.

So, there are my core values.  How about taking a few minutes and make a first draft of your “Core Values” to guide your life and your leadership.

If you do create a list for yourself, I would love to see it: