Values - the foundations of good leadership

Values – core guiding principles of decisions, conversations and drivers of your vision? Or merely nice words printed on a poster or on props from your last leadership training without any practical relevance? What a missed opportunity.

Values come to life when things get critical. In decisions; in difficult conversations; when establishing a common base for connecting with someone. They are crucial for leading authentically. Values are what make you YOU. Everyone has them, consciously or unconsciously. They provide orientation what better or worse looks and feels like, and when they are fulfilled they are key drivers of happiness.

What are your core values? Let’s explore that a bit more:

  • What do you care about?
  • What are you willing to fight for?
  • What do you spend your time and money on?
  • What was missing / what got hurt the last time you felt bad in a situation?

All these questions help you identify what values are and what they mean to you. You might want to capture your thoughts. Start having conversations about these with your partner, with your colleagues and invite them to share theirs too. Think about when you first became conscious of a value, and what was going on in your life. A lot of these make really good stories to share and to increase the way you authentically show up at work. Make it mutual.   

  • Make a list of your top 5 values.
  • How fulfilled are they right now (e.g. on a scale of 1-10)?
  • What is one thing you could do today / within the next week to move the needle up
  • by 1? Who can you rope in to support you? What needs changing or shifting?

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