“Values First” by Laura Eigel

Values First: How Knowing Your Core Beliefs Can Get You the Life and Career You Want

Laura Eigel, PhD
Houndstooth Press (2022)
ISBN 9781544528830
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (06/2022)

Readers, especially females, will instantly connect with author Dr. Laura Eigel’s goals for this book, “to bring more diversity and authenticity to the workplace” (p. xix). Through her Values First Framework she challenges readers into self-reflection and action as she walks us through the six parts of her framework (1) Values First, (2) Audit Time, (3) Life Boundaries, (4) Uplifting Others, (5) Experiencing Conflict and finally, (6) Sustaining Values.

After more than a decade in corporate America I have been through my fair share of annual performance reviews, quarterly one-on-one meetings, coaching, team bonding, etc. In my experience, these can often be awkward, disjointed and more standardized than personal. But, through the framework that Dr. Eigel provides in her book “Values First” we are given something both personal and important to managers and organizations as we get to know ourselves and understand the best way to align our work with our values. Dr. Eigel asks us hard questions surrounding what we value, how we prioritize our week around these values, and how our actions align, etc. Her framework, in 200 pages, does more for me as an employee than decades of performance reviews and trying to find what makes me happy, fulfilled and driven in my work and home life.

I immediately felt connected to this author as she states her desires to advance women in their careers. Often, when we think business book for women, we think “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. I’ve read “Lean In” many times, and while it is mostly applicable for women, much of the criticism for it has surrounded the questions of “why women have to be the ones leaning in?” “Values First” takes a different approach, applicable to both men and women, but especially women struggling to put their values first in the often masculine dominated world of business, will find this extraordinarily helpful in their quest to better align personal and professional values to ensure the right things are driving us in BOTH of these facets. Filled with examples, demonstrations and instructional supplemental tools, Dr. Eigel gives us tangible insights and techniques to impact readers for the long term.

With decades of experience coaching and developing others, including examples from herself, her career and those she’s worked with, “Values First” is more relatable, helpful, and understandable than some of the most mainstream business and self-guides.

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