My Leadership Values

In my last post I introduced the concept of leadership values. Today I am going to reveal my own five core leadership values. In no particular order they are:

  • accountability / responsibility
  • objectivity / rationality
  • clarity
  • efficiency / achievement
  • independence

Since I got clear on what my values were, it’s been helpful to pay attention to situations where I get frustrated or lose interest – either with people or with the situation itself. In 90% of cases, one of my values got violated. Where people trigger the frustration, they don’t know that. They don’t even know what my values are. Understanding where the frustration comes from allows me to address it and make sure I can leave the interaction on a positive note and make sure I get what I need from it. Rather than blaming the other person and nurturing a frustration.

Values are not something you choose. They are inherent to who you are. Putting some work into it, you can change them. But also know that you shouldn’t assign any judgment to your values. This is part of who you are. Part of who I am. Values help explain how I show up when you work with me. For example, my value of clarity means that I like things to be rational; clear. Give me 5 bullet points on a topic. Don’t give me a slide filled with 200 words. In the next blog post, we will explore a bit more what we can do with the values and how we can use them.

If you manage to ‘hit’ someone’s values; when you do things that are in line with someones values, you create trust with them. If you make an irrational point in an argument with me, I won’t trust you. In fact, I will probably start questioning you on everything you do. Even if you start being rational, you lost that trust with me and it will take time to rebuild it. This is not something I (or you for that matter) do on purpose or very consciously. It’s how we work as humans.

Have you figured out your values yet? If not, go back to the last blog post and take one of the value discovery tests. Once you have your list of values, sit with it. Can you identify situations in your past  that now suddenly make sense? Maybe a situation where you got frustrated with a co-worker or with your boss; what value did they violate? How could you have handled the situation differently, knowing that they didn’t mean to upset you, but one of your values was violated?

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