Be great at who you are

During the past decade, it has been popular for businesses to redefine their mission statement and choose company values.

The blog at defined company values well, “a set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that help a group of people function together as a team and work toward a common goal.”

Values are the foundation of an organization. They set a standard of expectation and add stability to the group. There is power in defining values. Have you ever thought about the values of your family? Or how about your values that describe you? What guides you to be the best version of yourself?

When our children were young, we placed a lot of emphasis on our family name. We often reminded the kids that they represent all of us in whatever they choose to do and wherever they go.

I was pleasantly surprised when I asked my adult daughter what her values are. The importance of her name was the first answer she shared with me. She wants to create a valuable reputation at her school and in her town.

What about me? What about me as a woman, as a professional, as a friend, as a human? Who do I want to be? Who am I?

I am CHEF Kathie. My values are:

  • Challenge
  • Happy
  • Efficient
  • Fully empowered


Being challenged is a double-edged sword. I enjoy accepting challenges that I choose, like running a 10K or completing a certification program.

However, life has a way of giving me unwanted challenges, like my car breaking down on the way to an important event. I have learned that I need to be a problem solver. I can figure out challenges that come my way by choosing a problem-solving mindset. This is the foundation for success even in adversity.

There are many angles to our value words. I can be challenged, and I can challenge others. Asking simple questions can challenge people to think differently and grow. My favorite question is the same as a 3-year-old’s favorite question. Why?


Joy, smiling and positiveness are synonyms for this value word. I am not always any of these words but choosing “happy” as a value sets an expectation to correct my poor attitudes. I also find that the more positive I am, the more I connect with other valuable people. I want to surround myself with great people.


I was born with an efficient mind. I think in lists and locations. It drives me crazy when I need to backtrack my steps because I forgot something in a room that I just left. I have learned the value of putting things back where they belong to avoid wasted time in the future. I have also created a habit of pausing when I leave a room and looking back to see what I might have forgotten to save an extra trip later.

Fully empowered

“Nobody cares about you as much as you do. Not your mom, your kids, your friends. No one.”

I have said this often to my family and myself. It is not to be mean or rude. Nobody can care more for you because no one knows the gaps in your head. Only you can figure out what you are missing in a situation.

For example, when my mom sent me her lasagna recipe, she did not know I was unaware of the “c.” abbreviation for garlic. I did not know what I did not know until I added 1 cup of garlic into our dinner instead of one clove. I cannot be upset with my mom for not writing out the abbreviations of the recipe. I am fully empowered to make the best out of my life and find success. I need to choose a positive attitude when unexpected challenges come my way.

(On a side note, I was extremely frustrated when I ruined dinner and wasted our groceries; however, this experience has made me more efficient when deciphering new recipes.)

I chose these values because they have been instrumental in forming my success. These value words connect with my natural strengths and habits and continue to offer stability in my journey through life. What are your foundational words?

John Maxwell said, “We teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are.” People are watching and replicating us. We have followers in our department at work and in the communities that we belong to, even if we do not purposefully mentor anyone.

Choose who you want to be. Write out your values so that you focus on yourself daily. Be great at who you are.