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Leading From and Being in Alignment with our Core Values in Challenging Times

Presenter: Martha Maksym

Key Insights:

• How do we know we are being in alignment with our core values?

    • o What do we spend our money on?
    • o How do we spend our time?

• Conversations about core values must be more than a one and done. A relationship with our core values in our personal lives and organizations must be an ongoing conversation and engagement to check what we spend our money on and how we spend our time.

• If we find we are not in alignment with our core values, we have 4 choices:

    • o Stay in the situation knowing there will be a cost to you
    • o Stay with the understanding that you are not in alignment – practice self-care at least 1 time a week to re-align with your value
    • o Try to change the culture of the situation from within
    • o Decide it’s time to go

• Additional resources are available on the Center for Ethical Leadership’s website, including the activity to identify core values.


Martha Maksym has served as the Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Human Services since 2017. Prior to this position, Martha became Executive Director of United Way of Chittenden County in July 2011. She was the Director of Community Investments at United Way of Chittenden County since September 1994 where she provided direction and management of all allocations, fund distribution processes and community investment strategies as they relate to meeting the Impact agenda of the organization. After a seven-year career at the Howard Bank in Burlington, Martha returned to graduate school and received her Masters in Public Administration from UVM in 1991. She then served as the Executive Director of Green Mountain Prevention Projects until joining United Way. She is a 2002 graduate of the Snelling Center’s Vermont Leadership Institute and a 2004 graduate of the Creating Healthy Communities national fellowship sponsored by the American Hospitals Association. Martha also serves on the Board of Directors at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Health Foundation and Vermont Commons School.