What do you stand for? What is important to you? What are your values?
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” ~ Roy E. Disney
Identifying Your Values Demonstrates Your Leadership Brand
Brand matters. Creating your confident leadership voice is your key to being a successful leader. You make decisions based on your value system…it is the internal-GPS, (your Global Positioning System), for the roadmap of your leadership journey. From the clients you engage with, to the team members that you hire, to the relationships with your family and friends, your values are reflected in every facet of your leadership style. And your life.
By identifying and living your core values, you lay the foundation for a grounded and confident leadership approach. Your values encompass your passions, talents and strengths. By defining your values, you determine what matters most to you. And you can determine how your values align, (or not), with those of your community and your organization.
When we blend a leader’s deliberate leadership values into our coaching partnership, I am able to guide leaders into greater insight and awareness of what is important to them in their life, and, thus, how their values impact their overall leadership brand.
Identifying Your Values Builds a Foundation of Trust
Trust matters. In the past, many discussions that centered on leadership were focused on the leaders themselves: their personality traits, their motivation and how to coach and develop those team members with potential. Recently, this focus has shifted from the personality traits of a leader to their ability to inspire confidence and build a foundation of trust within their team.
As an executive coach who’s role is to help leaders find fulfillment in their role, I know that nothing builds trust more than a leader who lives by their values. Not everyone may agree with your beliefs or how you put them into practice, but you will garner trust and respect by leading via a consistent and core set of practices and values.
Your team will have a better appreciation for your decision-making process. They will understand how you make your decisions and how you communicate your thoughts, insights and feedback. Think of the leaders that you have had in your life. Those leaders who lived by an open set of values were consistent in the way that they managed and dealt with people and situations.
Identifying Your Values Develops Your Credibility
Credibility matters. Successful leaders that lead according to their values make an effort to open up and be genuine with their team. That is easier said than done. By letting your team know who you are and what you value, you can build and evolve relationships built on trust and credibility. Share your values with your team. Inform them how your values will impact the decisions you make. Give brief, concrete examples of how your values have guided you in the past, and share your expectations of the team’s performance going forward. Ask them what they value in their life and how
Once you begin sharing what is important to you, you begin to create an environment of engagement and respect. You do not need to share every detail of your life, but by communicating what is significant to you and what you expect of each other, you enable your team to understand your motivation and eliminate mis-interpretations. This is not about building a team based on “friendships”, it is about building a team of mutual trust, appreciation and credibility.
Identifying Your Values Provides You with Direction & Boundaries
Boundaries matter. By discovering and identifying your values, you author your personal framework by which you make decisions. In today’s social and digital marketplace, where so many things compete for your attention, being able to prioritize what is important for you to spend your time on is critical. Discovering your values, what is really important to you, enables you to re-set your leadership brand with a clear purpose so that you make decisions to prioritize and focus on the issues that matter most.
Identifying Your Values Reveals What You Believe In
Beliefs matter. Self-discovery is an important aspect of effective leadership. A leader without an identified set of values will be directionless and thus, ineffective. Like a rudder-less ship…just drifting at sea. By defining your values, you allow your team members, your clients—and more importantly, you—to know what you stand for. This enables you to lead from a foundation comprised of reliability, consistency and accountability.
While we live in a society that makes it tempting to pretend to be someone you are not, this will prevent you from gaining the trust of your team, your organization and your clients. Your values set you apart from other leaders. Your values are what make you unique. Discover them. Own them. Lead with them.
“I had chosen to use my work as a reflection of my values.” ~ Sidney Poitier
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