Your Values Determine How You Lead

Core ValuesLeadership starts in the mind and with your most worthy intentions and core values. Your values—your personal principles— direct your thoughts, priorities, preferences, and actions. The aspects of life that you value shape your character, which determines how you do everything. Your values determine how you lead.

Unfortunately, many leaders haven’t identified their values and often find their roles frustrating, confusing, or unfulfilling.

If a leader’s experience can be described this way, imagine what their people are experiencing.

If you struggle with internal conflicts, or have a sense of something important missing from your life, assess your values.

Max Klau states in his Harvard Business Review article, Twenty-First Century Leadership: It’s All About Values, that a significant purpose of personal values is to serve a cause greater than yourself. Great leaders have a vision of serving by contributing to a cause where they try not to be the focal point. This requires a set of values based on benefiting others.

Your values are simply your ideals, the foundational principles that you live by. They are the important standards that govern body, mind, and spirit, manifested throughout the course of your personal and business life. Generally, people resonate most with a handful of values, each having a great influence on their character. I suggest to prioritize just a few to prevent losing focus.

Some examples of personal values that great leaders have been known to embrace:

  • Accountability
  • Excellence
  • Hard Work
  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Optimism
  • Relationships
  • Serving others

The list is broad. No two leaders will have the same set of core values. They are almost as unique as fingerprints. Your values establish your personal standards for what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable. They are the basis for judging your personal progress of growth, your impact on your areas of responsibility, the contributions you’ve made and the satisfaction you receive.

Have you identified your values? How do they shape your leadership? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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