Are you aligned with your “True North”?

It’s probably a smart plan, because as the saying goes, ‘when things go south,’ it’s not an ideal situation.

The term “True North” can be viewed as an internal compass that keeps a person grounded, centered, and focused on a particular direction and vision, which is important in a hectic and distracting world.

This is similar to your internal values which demonstrate the degree of importance you hold of something and which support you in determining what actions to take for the best way to live.

Knowing your values and your true north will help you stay on track at work and in life, as well as in any leadership role.

Recently I led a Brain Fitness corporate seminar at the BAIN consulting headquarters in Dallas, Texas, where their logo is a True North symbol.

They use their logo to represent their dedication to adhere to their ‘True North’ values: Passion, Commitment, Honesty, Openness, and Practicality, which underlies their unwavering commitment to always do the right thing by their clients, people and communities.


Many leaders and organizations in today’s world are recognizing the importance of aligning with individual and group values to further their growth, to achieve excellence and to reach goals.

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. Ideally, they are used as the principles that dictate behavior and action and how one conducts oneself.

When you are conscious of what your values are (there is usually a process involved in uncovering them), you can use them to support the infra-structure of your personal and professional lives.


  • Reduces stress
  • Provides personal insight
  • Increases better decision making & problem solving
  • Connects you with supportive people & places
  • Increases joy, happiness & satisfaction
  • Supports your growth and development
  • Provides greater clarity in times of conflict or confusion
  • Provides motivation
  • Serves as a guiding light

Life is good when the things that you do, the way you behave and the results you are achieving match your values. In this place, you are satisfied and content.

In contrast, when things that you do and the way you behave do not align with your values, everything feels off and your results, regardless how fruitful they may be, do not feel rewarding.

This can be a real source of unhappiness and discontent for both individuals and organizations.


  • If you value family life, but you have to work excessive hours in your job, you will feel internal stress and conflict, even if the work environment is positive and you are being rewarded well for your efforts.
  • If you don’t value competition, and you work in a highly competitive environment, you are not likely to be satisfied with your job, even if your organization is winning awards and is esteemed in the industry.

As well, values tend to evolve and change over time as you grow and change. A fit brain will be able to notice and support this growth, and a stressed brain will resist it.

For example, when you start your career, you may measure success by money and status. However, after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more. As your definition of success changes, so do your values.  The fitness level of your brain can either make these changes easy or frustrating.


Knowing your values and using them to answer or ask questions about decisions on how to live your life can draw out your natural leadership skills and align you with the right environment and people for your own success.   Consider these values:

  • Love, Patience, Kindness, Forgiveness, Trust, Selflessness, Compassion
  • Integrity, Honesty, Truthfulness, Responsibility, Reliability, Dependability, Decency, Sincerity, Commitment
  • Wisdom, Intelligence, Understanding, Knowledge, Insight, Perception, Discipline, Discretion, Intuition
  • Freedom, Independence, Liberty, Autonomy, Self-determination
  • Peace, Harmony, Unity, Tranquility, Serenity
  • Respect, Appreciation, Esteem, Value, Cherish

As your personal leadership muscles grow and become stronger, and you consciously lead your life according to your values, you will begin to notice a positive shift in all areas.


Honing your ‘Fit Brain’ can provide greater alignment with your everyday values, both personally and professionally.

Ultimately, life stewardship and leadership must be rooted in who you are and what matters most to you. When you truly know yourself and what you stand for, it is much easier to know what to do in any situation. This is also true for any organization.  It always comes down to doing the right thing the best way you can.

Like your brain, your values are also an important lifelong investment. When you start to feel out of balance and you can’t quite figure out why, likely you are out of sync with your core values and your leadership brain may be getting out of shape!

When in a Focused, Organized, and Balanced state thanks to Brain Fitness, you can live in sync with your values, be a leader in your own life and in the family and organizations in which you play important roles.

To your optimum values,