True leaders know what they value. Their values are then demonstrated through their behaviours and if they are courageous, communicated to their tribe. A leader’s values should be evident, as they should be reflected in their actions and decisions every day. This then provides their tribe with a certain level of expectation and trust. The tribe knows whom they are working for and whom they are following. They trust their leader. And trust breeds productivity, creativity, innovation and open conversations. A breath of fresh air to any business.
This is also known as leadership brand. How you define yourself, as a leader will determine how people speak of you and the legacy you are creating. That is so important in leadership. When you eventually step away from your business, or when people evolve and leave you, what difference will you have made in their lives and how will they remember you?
Trust is one of the very things that are missing in many workplaces. From my observation, this is common in larger organizations. When there is a big promise delivered to their tribe but the actions do not support the promise. The leaders are not demonstrating the values of the organization or delivering on the promise made. This can be very disheartening for people and impacts on productivity. After all, why should they be working as hard as they can towards a goal that doesn’t ever look like coming to reality? This happens in small business also and there is less room to hide in small business. You are under the watchful eye of your tribe continually!
So just what are values? Values motivate us, despite what might be politically correct or beneficial. Values indicate the things that are of vital importance (value) in getting our core needs met. Values influence how we see the world and relate to others, how we behave and ultimate how others behave around us. In a position of leadership, people will respond to our values.
As a leader, you need to choose your values. What is it that you stand for? Make sure these values are congruent and authentic to you. Some examples may be integrity, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, courage, just to name a few!
As a leader, choose the values and the ethics that are most important to you, the values and ethics you believe in and that define your leadership brand. Then live them visibly every day at work. Living your values is one of the most powerful tools available to you to help you lead and influence others. Don't waste your best opportunity to be a powerful role model.