Fidelity ★ Efficiency ★Honor….Empathy

good conduct medalBecause this past Sunday was “Purple Heart Day,” I had occasion to look at my father’s purple heart as well as his good conduct medal, inscribed with the words “fidelity,” “efficiency,” and “honor.” These are leadership values that are not unique to the military. They are also not unique to people of high rank; my father earned this medal while serving as a private (first class). Rank does not necessarily equate with leadership.

In preparation for the first session of my new course, “Leadership in the Creative and Cultural Industries,” I am reviewing my own values and preparing for my students to do the same in a values inventory exercise we’ll do in our first class session. In this exercise, each student gets a stack of 30-40 “values cards” and is asked to pull out their top ten from the deck. They are then asked to choose their top five and rank them, to consciously consider the values that drive their decision-making as leaders. I do this exercise myself at least once a year. “Honesty” has always been my top-ranked value, but this year, “empathy” took the top spot. It seems that we are in a time when empathy is more important than ever. When listening leads to understanding, discourse can lead to genuine collaboration, and collaboration to innovation.

Just a thought to start the school year…

About lindaessig

Linda Essig is director of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, including its award-winning arts entrepreneurship program, Pave: The opinions expressed on creativeinfrastructure are her own and not those of ASU. You can follow her on twitter @LindaInPhoenix and "like" the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship at Find Pave's journal, Artivate, at
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4 Responses to Fidelity ★ Efficiency ★Honor….Empathy

  1. Pingback: #Resistance Values | Creative Infrastructure

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