Values matter. Values represent our core being. As leaders, they reflect who we are personally, what we are willing to stand for, and what we are not. Values are our non-negotiables. Our communication, financial statements, our favorite songs and quotes, and how we spend our time are reflections of our values. Our lives are one giant reflecting pool of our values.
Leaders reflect not only their personal values, but also represent the values of their organization simply by position. Do you know your personal values? Do you know the values of the organization? How do those align? How are you living out those values? More than your logo, more than your tagline – your branding as a leader is how you live your values day in and day out. As a leader, you are accountable to your team. Every single day. As a leader, you offer these values as a stabilizer for the team. Even when the world is shaky, the team can count on core values being upheld.
Values drive your motivation for the long haul, refuel your energy, and promote ethical behavior. Values provide the team with stabilizing gifts of consistency, confidence, and clarity. Values help others see what the team is all about, because as leaders, we model what it looks like to hold onto these non-negotiables. What are we standing for with certainty? What are we absolutely not allowing? What are we willing to waver on? The lines need to be crystal clear. As leaders, we need to hold clear, strong, deliverable values.
Have you communicated your values by word and action? Are your values repeated consistently to the team? Would others recognize your values by your lifestyle? How do you see the values impacting team culture?
I will caution you that if you are currently in an organization whose values conflict with your personal values, it is only a matter of time. You can only dance that line for so long. The music will end, and you will need to choose. Your choice of staying with the organization or not will reflect your true values. Know YOUR true self. Know your identity. Stand strong as an individual as you hold true to your values, and in doing so, you will stand strong as a leader.