Becoming a successful leader requires a commitment to core values. Attention to your personal core values can help you make decisions, fulfill responsibilities and focus on what is important to you. I encourage emerging leaders to identify and stay true to their core values, which are the foundation for achieving your goals. Below are some of the guiding principles that have helped me along the way.

Set An Example. Approach each job with standards for yourself. This is integral to success. As you do less and lead more, hold tight to quality and integrity through actions, not just words.

Leverage Self-Awareness. There is nothing more powerful than understanding and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. Apply your strengths in all situations. Seek out people who are strong in your weak areas so you can learn from them.

Be Yourself. Early in my career I found myself trying to emulate others whom I admired. Once I realized that I needed to learn from these great leaders, not be them, I became more confident in relying on my own expertise and instinct.

Make The Right Choices For You. As my career grew, so did my family. One day I woke up overwhelmed with the weight of so many responsibilities until I realized it was my choices that brought me there. We can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, but we can make choices that help meet our need for balance.

Take Risks. I have taken jobs that colleagues told me not to take and taken on roles that I thought I could never do. Have I been scared and worried I would fail? Yes! But the rewards have been greater because I am willing to step out of my comfort zone.

Be Respectful of Others. Whether it is a daily encounter or a major decision impacting many, be respectful of others. My success increasingly relies on mentors, peers, team members and networks. In addition, my decisions affect more and more people. Respecting others, their values and culture is key to success. Writing this essay has given me reason to reflect on my career and what I think has helped me along my path. As I continue my journey, these guiding principles will continue to be my compass.