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Value Driven Leadership


What do you stand for? What are your basic principles? As a leader, the only effective way you can direct your life and the lives of others is to truly know what you stand for. Your personal principles, or values, direct your thoughts, priorities, preferences and actions. Following your principles makes leading a whole lot easier! The things that shape your character also determine how you lead. In fact, they determine how you do everything.

What happens if you don’t identify your values? Well, it makes life a lot more frustrating. If you find yourself struggling internally, or have a sense that something isn’t right, or something is missing, it may be time to assess your own values.

I like this article by Max Klau in the Harvard Business Review, Twenty-First Century Leadership: It’s All About Values. Though he wrote the article in 2010, the content is still appropriate today. He says that having a commitment to personal values results in leading to the greater good. Great leaders have a vision of serving by contributing to a cause where they try not to be the focal point. Instead, your leadership benefits others.

Identifying Your Values. Your values are simply your ideals, the principles you live by. They are the standards you’ve developed through life that you feel strongly about. These values should govern both your personal and business life. Generally, people resonate most with a handful of values, each having a great influence on their character. By prioritizing your values, you focus on what’s important.

Values to consider. Here are some examples of personal values that leaders have been known to embrace: Honesty, Integrity, Accountability, Humility, Loyalty, Serving Others, Excellence, Optimism, Relationships and Hard Work.

No two leaders will have the same set of core values. In fact, the values you embrace should be unique to you. They help establish your personal standards for what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable. For example, one of my personal values is Integrity. I won’t cancel an invitation that I’ve accepted. Even if a better invitation comes along, I believe that I have a commitment to the first offer I accepted. It’s a small thing, but it’s something my friends have appreciated about me. The values you embrace assist in your personal progress, your impact on others and the responsibilities you expect from others.

Values are barometers. Our personal standards follow our values, so they serve as gauges for how we live our lives. Consequently, your sense of success is based on how well you feel you’re upholding your values. If Relationships are a high value to you, then you can assess how many new ones you made, or how many struggling ones you mended. If you value Humility, you can judge how well you were able to lift the spirits of others and help them be recognized. Similarly, if you highly value Optimism or Excellence, how you lead can impact your emotional level or state of energy. And a high value of Loyalty or Commitment impacts your perception and approach to challenges, endurance, and perseverance.

Take some time to review the values above and figure out which ones make up your core values.


What do you stand for? What are your basic principles? As a leader, the only effective way you can direct your life and the lives of others is to truly know what you stand for. Your personal principles, or values, direct your thoughts, priorities, preferences and actions. Following your principles makes leading a whole lot easier! The things that shape your character also determine how you lead. In fact, they determine how you do everything.

What happens if you don’t identify your values? Well, it makes life a lot more frustrating. If you find yourself struggling internally, or have a sense that something isn’t right, or something is missing, it may be time to assess your own values.

I like this article by Max Klau in the Harvard Business Review, Twenty-First Century Leadership: It’s All About Values. Though he wrote the article in 2010, the content is still appropriate today. He says that having a commitment to personal values results in leading to the greater good. Great leaders have a vision of serving by contributing to a cause where they try not to be the focal point. Instead, your leadership benefits others.

Identifying Your Values. Your values are simply your ideals, the principles you live by. They are the standards you’ve developed through life that you feel strongly about. These values should govern both your personal and business life. Generally, people resonate most with a handful of values, each having a great influence on their character. By prioritizing your values, you focus on what’s important.

Values to consider. Here are some examples of personal values that leaders have been known to embrace: Honesty, Integrity, Accountability, Humility, Loyalty, Serving Others, Excellence, Optimism, Relationships and Hard Work.

No two leaders will have the same set of core values. In fact, the values you embrace should be unique to you. They help establish your personal standards for what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable. For example, one of my personal values is Integrity. I won’t cancel an invitation that I’ve accepted. Even if a better invitation comes along, I believe that I have a commitment to the first offer I accepted. It’s a small thing, but it’s something my friends have appreciated about me. The values you embrace assist in your personal progress, your impact on others and the responsibilities you expect from others.

Values are barometers. Our personal standards follow our values, so they serve as gauges for how we live our lives. Consequently, your sense of success is based on how well you feel you’re upholding your values. If Relationships are a high value to you, then you can assess how many new ones you made, or how many struggling ones you mended. If you value Humility, you can judge how well you were able to lift the spirits of others and help them be recognized. Similarly, if you highly value Optimism or Excellence, how you lead can impact your emotional level or state of energy. And a high value of Loyalty or Commitment impacts your perception and approach to challenges, endurance, and perseverance.

Take some time to review the values above and figure out which ones make up your core values. What do you stand for? What are your basic principles? As a leader, the only effective way you can direct your life and the lives of others is to truly know what you stand for. Your personal principles, or values, direct your thoughts, priorities, preferences and actions. Following your principles makes leading a whole lot easier! The things that shape your character also determine how you lead. In fact, they determine how you do everything.

What happens if you don’t identify your values? Well, it makes life a lot more frustrating. If you find yourself struggling internally, or have a sense that something isn’t right, or something is missing, it may be time to assess your own values.

I like this article by Max Klau in the Harvard Business Review, Twenty-First Century Leadership: It’s All About Values. Though he wrote the article in 2010, the content is still appropriate today. He says that having a commitment to personal values results in leading to the greater good. Great leaders have a vision of serving by contributing to a cause where they try not to be the focal point. Instead, your leadership benefits others.

Identifying Your Values. Your values are simply your ideals, the principles you live by. They are the standards you’ve developed through life that you feel strongly about. These values should govern both your personal and business life. Generally, people resonate most with a handful of values, each having a great influence on their character. By prioritizing your values, you focus on what’s important.

Values to consider. Here are some examples of personal values that leaders have been known to embrace: Honesty, Integrity, Accountability, Humility, Loyalty, Serving Others, Excellence, Optimism, Relationships and Hard Work.

No two leaders will have the same set of core values. In fact, the values you embrace should be unique to you. They help establish your personal standards for what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable. For example, one of my personal values is Integrity. I won’t cancel an invitation that I’ve accepted. Even if a better invitation comes along, I believe that I have a commitment to the first offer I accepted. It’s a small thing, but it’s something my friends have appreciated about me. The values you embrace assist in your personal progress, your impact on others and the responsibilities you expect from others.

Values are barometers. Our personal standards follow our values, so they serve as gauges for how we live our lives. Consequently, your sense of success is based on how well you feel you’re upholding your values. If Relationships are a high value to you, then you can assess how many new ones you made, or how many struggling ones you mended. If you value Humility, you can judge how well you were able to lift the spirits of others and help them be recognized. Similarly, if you highly value Optimism or Excellence, how you lead can impact your emotional level or state of energy. And a high value of Loyalty or Commitment impacts your perception and approach to challenges, endurance, and perseverance.

Take some time to review the values above and figure out which ones make up your core values.


Values as warnings. It’s also true that values can serve to warn leaders of contradictions in their lives. When life is misaligned with values, the result is often conflict, stress or frustration. You may not even recognize what’s going on until you take some personal time to reflect on your values. Here are some examples of how contradictions can occur:

· If you value transparency and are required to be vague in dealing with difficult corporate issues with your people, you will be torn inside.

· If you value excellence, you will be discouraged and defeated if the pressures of your environment force your people to submit substandard work.

· If you value relationships, you will be distressed if your workload doesn’t permit you to engage your people in ways that allow you to know them.

Assessing your values is critical. Take the time to assess your job, your duties, and your career path. This inward focus can help you see where you fit and where you don’t. An executive coach can help.

Using your values to lead. Leaders who follow their values are seen as authentic and are appreciated because they’re genuine and trustworthy. It’s pretty obvious to the people around you. Use your values to set a vision for your organization and follow that path.

Your values help to establish the culture within your organization. You set standards for what is right and wrong – which, by the way, is the exact kind of leadership most people seek. The principles you stand for can help you establish organizational goals. Maybe without even realizing it, you motivate staff to implement your vision.

In summary, keep your values in mind as you lead. They will be evident in your actions, decisions, and conversations. Your values will guide your thinking, responses, goals, and vision. Your people will see a nobler, genuine, trustworthy leader who is worth following.



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