Values: Would You Work for You?

Leadership Values

Our virtual world is relentless. We move from meeting to meeting, chasing the end result while often failing to pause in between the chaos and complexity that is today’s workplace. We are incessantly focused on WHAT needs to get done.

I get it. I fall into the trap myself from time to time. There’s an endless list of items to be done every day and every week.

However, if we want to make a bigger impact on our organizations and truly show up based on the vision and identity that we have designed for our future, we have to ask a deeper and more meaningful question – WHO are you showing up as today?

Are you congruent? In other words, do your behaviors reflect what you say is important?

Are you clear about your leadership philosophy and act in alignment with it?

Do you understand your impact on others – Your team members? Your manager? What about your peers or even the business as a whole.

Would you work for you?

In my first leadership book, Ignite the 4 Essential Rules for Emerging Leaders, the first People-First factor I outlined was Leading by Example. This principle is about establishing credibility. Without it, whether you are a people manager or not, no one will follow you.

Look, I know that you already know this. Like me, you’ve probably experienced times when people followed you with ease while other times it may have been more difficult or challenging.

At the heart of building credibility with others and leading by example is having a clear set of values to guide how you show up.

Values are the beliefs you hold true above anything else. They define who you are and guide your behaviors.

But here’s the catch – we all have our values (whether we know it or not) and we don’t check them at the door when we enter the workplace. They follow us around and emerge in every action we take.

Are the values you live by defined? Are they intentional?

What do they say about who you are?

If you worked for you, would you see yourself as authentic and would you follow you?

Would you work for you?

Define Your Leadership Values

Here are three simple steps to help you define your values. At the end of this post, you’ll find a free Values Toolkit that will guide you through these steps in more detail.

STEP 1: Brainstorm about Values

The first step is to make a comprehensive list of all the values that are important to you. You might write down words like advancement, authenticity, challenge, collaboration, empowerment, equality, freedom, generosity, personal growth, sincerity, or others. As a starting point, the Values Toolkit at the end of this post has over 35 values to choose from.

Next, of all the values you identified, choose eight that stand out as most important to you.

STEP 2: Narrow Your Values List and Prioritize

Of the eight values you identified above, select the five most important values, or core values, and prioritize them from most important to least important. This can be a challenging process but forcing yourself to reflect on and prioritize your values will help you understand what choices in life are most valuable to you.

STEP 3: Define Your Leadership Behaviors

For each core value you identified, reflect on how you can align your actions as a human being and leader. Define the behaviors that you would expect to see from yourself if you truly lived by each of those values.

For example, if respect is important to you, how would you demonstrate respect on your team? How about with your peers who may have competing priorities? Or with your family or friends?

Complete the Leadership Values Exercise

Would you work for you?

My guess is that you would, and to help you along your leadership transformation journey, download the Values Toolkit below. The Values Toolkit is free and will walk you through the three steps to identify your values and define WHO you want to become.

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