I write about leadership. I try to keep it personal. I don’t always accomplish everything perfectly that I write about, but my goal is to be a growing leader.
One critical aspect of leadership, in my experience, is to be aware of the values one holds. As in life, each leader has certain values that are especially and even uniquely important to him or her. Without thinking about it, we typically will favor those values in the way we lead others…when we make policies, in the way that we manage and the issues which get our greatest attention. Because we make decisions based on what we value, it’s important that a leader understand what he or she values in leadership and to recognize also that others may hold values which are different from ours.
Have you ever considered your personal values as a leader?
I’ve spent time over the years realizing the things I tend to value most in leadership. Those whom I lead can probably clearly see these displayed in my leadership. This doesn’t mean other values aren’t important…perhaps even more important…but that these are the ones most important to me.
Here are my top 7 values as a leader and why I hold them:
Responsiveness – I believe leaders are required to be responsive to those they wish to lead. If people don’t hear from you they make up their own scenarios, become afraid, and lose interest and motivation. (I’ve written about that before HERE.)
Accountability – Leaders are extremely vulnerable individuals. Sometimes the leader is the last to know there is a problem. Power in leadership can lead to problems with pride and corruption. (I believe and practice this personally and have written about it numerous times. You can read one HERE. I even offer specific consulting to help leaders in this area.)
Grace – No leader ever gets to the top without a tremendous amount of grace along the way. Isn’t it only fair that a leader reciprocates the grace received into grace given? (I write about grace and forgiveness frequently. You can find several HERE.)
Authenticity – If a leader wants people to follow, he or she must be trustable. That requires realness and transparency. (I wrote specifically about that HERE.)
Integrity – Leaders are taking people places where they may not be completely comfortable going. If a leader has been granted trust, he or she should honor that trust with honest and moral leadership. (I’ve frequently written about this value. You can find one instance HERE.)
Change – Organizations that stand still die. Change brings momentum and creates opportunities for growth. Leadership development happens best during change. (I’ve written about this in my personal life HERE and numerous times organizationally, such as HERE.)
Intentionality – Nothing happens without action. You can have the greatest dreams and they will remain only a dream without a plan, a strategy, a system and genuine effort. (Intentional is a word I use frequently with our staff and challenge it in our church. You can read a post example HERE.)
What are your personal values as a leader (or person)? I’d love to hear your top 7. They will most likely be different from mine, but that’s what makes the world of leadership so interesting. Different leaders…different values.
(I previously wrote 7 non-negotiable traits to work on my team. Those are different from values in that I can require them. I can’t always require everyone hold the same values I have…although I’m confident I subconsciously look for them in the people we hire.)