Today marks the 4-year anniversary of my father’s passing.

And this year, thanks to a recent radio interview my brothers and I gave with local financial planner Dennis Prout on my dad’s legacy and transition practices, I have had more time to reflect on the life lessons he taught us.

Originally published one month after my father’s death, the following list is a compilation of the key principles of my father’s life and the leadership instilled in me.

The emails, letters, and cards I received four years ago describing the impact my dad’s character and leadership had on countless other lives were both humbling and convicting, creating a renewed sense of urgency to live and lead the way he did.

One of the things I did at that time was to create a list of eight leadership standards, to which I have held myself accountable through an honest weekly review.

These eight qualities reflect the most significant priorities for me in living each day, as Stephen Covey says, “…with the end in mind.” They are:

1) Faith/Prayer: “I am prioritizing intentional time with God and progressively maturing as a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
2) Character: “I am living virtuously according to my convictions, drawing strength and expanding my influence by uncompromisingly living out my values.”
3) Presence: “I am where I am… where ever I am, at work, home, church, with friends, and community.”
4) Initiative: “I am being proactive, taking deliberate steps to engage others, generate ideas, embrace change, and grow myself and the people I lead.”
5) Wisdom: “I make sound decisions, guided by the Holy Spirit, and remain open to the counsel of others.”
6) Courage: “I am embracing opportunities that place me at the edge of my comfort zone. And in challenging decisions, I am not afraid to make the tough call.”
7) Communication: “I am intentional about keeping people informed, connecting meaningfully, and staying in touch with close friends.”
8) Discipline: “I am managing my life–in my eating and fitness habits, how I manage my time and the simple consistent actions I practice–with the end in mind. I avoid short term indulgence for long term goals.”

Wanting to express my personal brand with as few words as possible, I ended up at these eight standards. (There are many more to consider!)

And although I fall short all the time, this list represents what it means for me to live my best life, inspired by my father, week in and week out. If you are reading this post and you know me personally, I give you permission to hold me accountable to each of them.

What about you? If you had to choose five to ten core values by which to live your daily life, what would yours be? What would living out these core values mean to the legacy you leave?