When you practice your values consistently, you feel clean and clear, you have a sense of stability, and you know what to focus on in the midst of change and complexity.  People know what to expect from you. This drives your ability to create a positive impact.

When you practice your values inconsistently, you feel distracted, at the mercy of circumstances, and you feel like you are spinning.  People are not sure what to expect from you.

From The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes & Posner, 2012, p. 35), the majority of people look to a leader who is::

  • Honest
  • Forward-looking
  • Competent
  • Inspiring

These types of leaders are looking for more than results; they are responding to what is important to their people.

Further, Kouzes and Posner (2012, p. 39) shared that the leader needs to be credible and act in integrity with what they say – “They do what they say they will do.”  “When it comes to deciding whether a leader is believable, people first listen to the words, then they watch the actions.”

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This leads us to philosophy and values

Forming your leadership philosophy requires you to know yourself:  what you care about, what defines you, and what makes you who you are.  These are the words you then share and that people can rely on you to act on.  Do you want to be authentic or an actor?  You can only be authentic when you are clear on who you are, what is important to you, and behave in accordance.  A leader who is authentic impacts people dramatically!  Leadership effectiveness and trust are perceived to be much higher when they are clear and act on their leadership philosophy. (p. 47)

Consistent practice of your leadership philosophy and values then becomes a natural progression to leading with positive impact.

When leaders are clear on their values and share them with others, people are better prepared to understand their actions and the reasoning behind their decisions.  Beliefs underpin values.  Values  inform the priorities you set and the decisions you make.  They form your personal bottom line or the stake you are willing to put in the ground.  They support leaders in turbulent times also – providing a guiding light through complex and/or uncertain situations.  When you are clear on your values, it is easier for you and those who you impact to stay on course.  (p. 50-51)

What philosophy and values do you live by as a leader?  How do you share these with others?  How can you support them to do the same?

When the team knows their values, then shared values can be determined.  It is on these shared values that people can agree, connect and move forward with together.

Yours in creating clarity,