What does it mean to  lead from your values?

Following are some thoughts and feelings that have been shared with me by leaders of leaders when first considering values clarification:

I hear the word values and I’m not sure what that means.

How do I even identify what my core values are as a leader?

I know my values but I’m not sure what it means to lead by my values.

I know what’s important to me but am worried about taking a stand for that with my boss, peers, and team members.

What will I look like?  I know what’s important to me, but I feel like a fish out of water and I will be perceived as not fitting in anymore if I speak about them.

What if my team has totally different values than me?

Why would I put myself out there?

Values – What are they?

Values are our north star that can guide our decisions and actions.  When we are aware of our own unique values, what they mean to us, and what beliefs they are based on, we can consciously live and lead by them.

Values support clarity, commitment and conviction upon which to base focus,energy, and communication.  This, in turn, creates confidence, living from a strong inner knowing of what is truly important.  When you are confident, it is easier to share your ideas at all levels of the organization and with external stakeholders and have them heard and implemented, and to develop and guide your people.  You can ask for, hear and integrate others ideas and take into account their values and alignment.  You get buy-in.  Thereby, you make a stronger and more positive impact and create outstanding results for self, team, the organization, and inter-related stakeholders.

Spark also has simple, straightforward exercises to think through values and use them in leadership.

Why lead from your values?  Because when a leader lives and leads from their values …

They know and understand what is important to them.

They are much more likely to consciously practice their values.

They share their values with their teams.

They are in a much better position to engage others to understand and contribute based on their values and how their values align with the leader’s and organization’s values.

They can achieve goals through values alignment, supporting those involved to see what is important for themselves in the context of the bigger picture of the goals.

They feel sure of who they are which builds confidence.

They make a clearer, more positive impact based on what is deeply important to them.

What does it look like when a leader does not lead from their values?

Their approach to what they do is scattered.

They make decisions in variable ways.  They appear like a feather in the wind.

They are not clear about their expectations.

They cannot create alignment.

They have difficulty influencing, sharing vague or inconsistent messages.

People don’t understand them well which creates a low level of trust.

People are not as engaged, fulfilled and productive as they could be.

They may meet their goals but not to the degree desired or possible.

Impact is fleeting, moderate, and not powerful.

Executive presence is weak.

They don’t come across as authentic or genuine.

When you, as a leader, live and lead from your values …

People know what to expect from you.

People know what is important to you.

People trust you more, knowing where you stand.

People are more willing to follow your lead.

Your influence is broader.

You model the way for other people to express and live from their values.  This leads to increased engagement.

When you, as a leader, do not lead from their values:

People are confused.

People operate at a more superficial level.

Trust is fleeting.

People are not as open to change.

You don’t hear from people about their ideas or with their important input and feedback.

Values – How do you identify your values and how do they apply to your leadership?

You can easily get clear on your values through a simple values assessment.  At Spark Success, we have a number of alternative assessments.  Jamie Davidoff is a Certified Barrett Values Centre Consultant and,thereby, uses the Barrett Values Centre  personal values assessment, leader self-assessment, leader 360 assessment, team value assessment, and organizational culture assessment tools.  She is also a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator.  One of the four core, courage building skills is Living into Our Values, and she can use the related curriculum to support individuals, leaders, and/or teams and organizations identify their values, understand where and where they are not practicing them to be able to shift to practicing them more effectively and also bring them into consideration when creating team alignment, decision making, providing engaged feedback, and more.

Lets book an exploration call to discuss which values tools are best suited to discovering your values and how to use them effectively in your leadership role.

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