What are your core values?

Last weekend I was attending my monthly ACSA Superintendent’s Academy class and one of our class speakers was Holly McClurg, the Superintendent of Del Mar Union School District.  She took us through a core values activity. In fact, she took us through the exact same activity I did last year, in my Revisiting My Core Values post. Every time I reflect on my core values, the list changes slightly, based on where I am in my life.

We began with a large stack of words on individual cards. Holly asked us to do a quick sort of the words. I knew we were heading to selecting our top values, and it would be a fast process, so I sorted with that in mind. Other participants who hadn’t experienced this before were much slower to sort in the first round.


With each round, Holly asked us to get rid of 10 cards. We sorted and sorted until she asked us to find our top four values.  This time these were my top values:


Compassion replaced empathy from my previous list of core values, mostly based on my recent rereading of Onward, which is the focus of my monthly blog series.

Creativity and integrity were on my previous list and they remained.

Equity was on my list last year, as a written add-on. Holly didn’t give us that option this year. If I had a choice I would have written in equity and collaboration, both of which are important in my life and were missing from this set of value cards.

Respect showed up this year as more important than so many other words. This has always been important to me, but sometimes you don’t know you need it front and center until you feel it is missing in some way.

I encourage all leaders to go through the process of determining what your core values are. I appreciate repeating this process every year, as a way to reflect on how I’ve changed and grown.

What are your core values?

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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2 Responses to What are your core values?

  1. Illingworth Jack says:



  2. Pingback: How are you so comfortable talking about race and equity issues? | Reflections on Leadership and Learning

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