In General

In celebration of the upcoming July 4 US Declaration of Independence holiday, I thought it would be fun to think about how each and every human being on this planet deserves to declare their own “Personal Bill of Rights”. Yes, I know the Bill of Rights is different from the Declaration of Independence but allow me some creative license, will you?

My inspiration is for each of us to have an “unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”…At Work. The fact is we all spend a big percentage of our waking hours at our work – and the quality of our time at work has a huge impact on our well-being.

So here are the “unalienable rights” which are important to me. Feel free to use some of these or come up with your own. The goal is for each of us to identify our own means to finding greater life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our work. It’s a virtuous circle: happy employees = engaged teams = better business = happy employees. So go ahead, write your own, post them on your wall (facebook or cubicle), make up a screensaver. Share it with your team. Better yet, share it with your boss. Encourage them to develop theirs. Use it as a reminder of what’s important every day, and not just the 4th of July!


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…At Work — That to secure these rights, we ourselves must establish, take ownership of, and joyously declare to all who will listen our Personal Bill of Rights”

  1. The Right To Find Purpose in the Work I do – This is a huge motivator for me
  2. The Right to Free Speech. To express my point of view on decisions that affect me
  3. The Right to Congregate with Like-Hearted People – I want to like the people I work with
  4. The Right to Believe in myself –  This is a reminder to know and use my strengths
  5. The Right to be Rewarded and Recognized for my work – I want to be paid what I’m worth.
  6. The Right to Ask for What I Need to be Successful – Often we don’t ask for what we need.
  7. The Right to have the freedom to make decisions related to my work – Motivates me.
  8. The Right to seek and get feedback from those I can learn from – Another motivator for me.
  9. The Right to a work culture where my contributions are valued – Helps me make an impact.
  10. The Right to seek new challenges that help me grow and learn – Helps keep me motivated.

Signed this (insert date here) by (insert name here).

This exercise is very useful as it helps us to think about what motivates us and what are the work environments where we thrive and perform to our highest potential. To personalize this for yourself, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you need from your work environment to feel engaged? For me, it’s the ability to work with people who have similar values and goals, to feel like I can have an impact.
  2. What motivates you to work at your best? For me, it’s a high level of autonomy and ability to make decisions related to what I’m accountable for. I also am motivated by learning and growing and new challenges as well as getting feedback.
  3. What helps you make your best contributions? For me, it’s an environment of openness and honesty where everyone is encouraged to openly express their point of view, where I can learn from others.

So enjoy this exercise in developing your own “Personal Bill of Rights”. After all, it’s an extension of your personal brand (what you stand for and what makes you happy).

If this resonated for you, please comment, subscribe, and share with others.

Showing 6 comments
  • Sharon

    Henna, I love your Bill of Rights and your list of the unalienable rights that are important to you. For my list, I would add another — The Right to Be Me, who I truly am rather than the person others believe I should be. This has helped me navigate my life and career, and I am grateful to my parents encouraging this from my earliest memory.

    Happy Independence Day to all!

    With love and gratitude,


    • henna

      Hello Sharon – Thanks for that wonderful reminder to all! And your website is a great resource for being able to discover your true self. In addition some of the blog posts on personal branding on this site (purpose, strengths, character) are also great resources.


  • Hala Moddelmog


    As usual, you have nailed what is important in our work lives and in the rest of our lives as well. Thank you for being you.

    Hala Moddelmog

    • henna

      Hala – Thank you for commenting! And I hope you’ve written your Bill of Rights. As accomplished as you are, it would be great for you to share some of what is on your Bill of Rights with others. Also as the leader of your organization it would be great for you to encourage your people to develop this for themselves and share within their teams. It would be a great way for team members to learn about what motivates and engages everyone on the team.


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