I finally finished the book This is Day One by Drew Dudley. It took me quite a while because I wanted to work through the exercises that he provided in the book and really focus in on my values and develop my “action guiding questions.” This was a very difficult and reflective practice for me. As part of this process Drew asks that you list 30 Edge of the Bed Advice statements, reflect on 2 situations in your life when you were at your best and 2 when you were at your worst, identify the values within all of these and tally them to determine your core values.

Reflecting on the best and worst situations was the most difficult for me. It is hard to objectively look at your behaviour in these moments. I also tend to let things go so the details of some of the memories were vague. It took me several weeks to sift through some of the things in my life and identify what I felt were the best and the worst moments.

At the end of these exercises I was able to identify these as my top 5 values:

Balance
Empathy
Self-Awareness
Vulnerability
Growth

This process uses the values you have identified to write your “Action guiding Questions”. Drew thankfully provides some samples and I decided to choose from them as I did feel they captured the essence of what I was thinking.

Balance: How did I take time for something important to me today?
Growth: What did I do today to build the capacity of others?
Self-Awareness: How did I challenge something I believed in today?
Vulnerability: When was I honest about a personal shortcoming today?
Empathy: How did I strive to better understand someone today?

In the book Drew suggests that we set a reminder to intentionally take some time to review these questions each day. I have done that and will use them to reflect at the end of the day. I am also going to use them at the beginning of the day to set an intention.

Through this process I have wondered if I would have been able to do this 2 years ago. I do not think that I had the headspace, energy or time to think as clearly as I do now. Part of my journey over the last 2 years has been very personal. I have learned things about myself and my leadership that I could not take on previously. I felt like I was on automatic pilot just trying to survive. I have learned that I am a better version of myself if I have the time to reflect and to really use that reflection to change my behaviour. This deeply impacts both my personal and professional life.

The last 2 years have been a time of reflection, healing and growth for me. They have allowed me to be a healthier and more balanced person. I am very excited to continue to grow and the learn over the next few years working internationally as well as through my doctoral work. I know I still have so much more to do and learn.

If you have not read This is Day One I highly recommend it and that through reading it that you take some time to deeply reflect and identify your core values and how they impact your purpose as a leader. I know that personally I have found this process to be transformational. I feel that I have identified those values that I hold true at this point in my life and my leadership. I believe that they allow me to be the most authentic version of myself.

What would you identify as your values?
How would you use these to create your action guiding questions?