Living life deliberately and leading others effectively depend on doing what matters most. Each of us defines this differently, which accounts for our unique contributions to the world.

At the heart of what is most important to each of us are some bed rock principles that serve as an internal GPS to keep us oriented in our daily dance of living. The same is true of organizations. Leaders who are focused on what matters most cultivate cultural norms that enable their teams to deliver with congruence the value promised to customers.

As a coach I work with individuals and organizations that are momentarily overwhelmed or stymied. Often, these are busy clients for whom unforeseen events land on an already extended schedule. I dare say it happens to each of us at some point. The result is a crisis, and in the fog of the moment we lose our bearings.

I have found that one of the most effective tactics is to have clients revisit and clarify their values. It sounds so basic, and it is. At the same time, it is very effective in breaking through the muddle to focus on the essentials. When life gets too complex, we need a way to simplify, to return to basics.

For each of us there are 3-4 core values that matter most in our lives. If we are momentarily overwhelmed or seeking clarity in making an important decision, reclaiming and reaffirming them can provide a lens that helps us see our way through.

What are the four values that matter most to you?