Leadership: Thrive with your Core Values
Do you feel you are thriving or merely surviving leadership? In the words of the motivational speaker Tony Robbins, “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” And, those decisions are determined by what we hold at your true core, your values. When was the last time you did a values exercise and what did it show? As a leader, allowing time to know what you values are will form a foundation for your future success!
“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.” Dalai Lama
Courageous Leaders focus on their Values
I think we have a courageous leadership problem as shown in my blog “The 12 Rules of Courage,” I recently saw an article Demystifying Courageous Leadership where it talks about how we live in an era of distortion, not disruption or transformation but distortion! Look at how we are reacting and leading through the pandemic. We lead today in a world where there is much uncertainty, no reliable blueprint and unrecognisable landscape. Within this landscape and uncertainty there is one thing that stands out in which we need more now today than ever in our leaders – courage based on strong values. Courageous leaders are ultimately the ones who can lead through this landscape and uncertainty with adaptability and resilience as well as motivate their people around a shared purpose, inspire their customers, and bring their companies to new levels of success. Businesses who lead without courage visibly suffer.
Our work, numerous studies and research as well as findings across the globe have shown the best companies are the ones who have found the courage to make bold moves that transform their businesses. In turn they have stayed courageous especially in the face of complicated circumstances based on strong values. Leading with courage through today’s distorted playing field creates sustainable value and outcomes across all areas of your organisation. Here are my 12 Rules of Courage:
- Speak The Truth, No Matter How Difficult It May Be
- Know Your Values – And Stick To Them
- Be Unapologetically You
- Never Let Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Goals
- Be Brave Enough To Stop And Listen
- Never Accept Defeat
Here is an amazing free tool!
Align your life to ‘WHAT MATTERS MOST’
Robert Glazer, Founder and CEO at Acceleration Partners says that “To Thrive in Your Career and Family, You Need to Discover Your Core Values.” At our company, we have always aspired to have very few rules. Instead, we prefer to emphasize and reinforce our company’s core values. We believe these are key guideposts that can help team members make more thoughtful, sound decisions.
Years ago, while reading Adam Grant’s book, Originals, I learned about a study done by two sociologists who studied non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust (rescuers) with a group of neighbours who lived in the same town but who did nothing (non-rescuers). The study revealed that what ultimately differentiated the rescuers from the non-rescuers was how their parents disciplined bad behaviour and praised good behaviour.
When the rescuers were asked to recall their childhoods and the discipline they received, researchers discovered that the word they most used was “explained.” The focus of their parents was on the Why behind their disciplinary action and the moral lesson or value to be learned, rather than on the discipline itself. This practice conveyed the values their parents wanted to share while also encouraging critical thinking and reasoning. Grant notes that by explaining moral principles, the parents of those in the rescuer group had instilled in their children the importance of complying voluntarily with rules that align with important values and to question rules that don’t. The rescuers were almost three times more likely to reference moral values that applied to all people, emphasizing that their parents taught them to respect all human beings.
Another key to creating these moral standards that researchers found is praising behaviour or character over the action itself. For example, in one study, children who were asked to “be helpers” instead of “to help” were more likely to clean up toys when asked. Similarly, adults who were asked “Please don’t be a cheater,” cheated 50 percent less than those that were asked “Please don’t cheat.” The same researcher suggests that we replace “Don’t Drink and Drive,” with “Don’t Be a Drunk Driver.”
It turns out that values are far more effective than rules at eliciting the outcomes and behaviours that we want. In either a family or an organization, it is virtually impossible to cover all possible rules or monitor the adherence to them. Doing so would create a lengthy process manual or a draconian set of guidelines.
I’ve observed that highly successful individuals, families and companies almost always have carefully defined core values. These aren’t token principles that look good on an office wall or marketing pamphlet. Instead, these values represent the DNA of the person or group, and inform their crucial decisions. The basis of high-achievement, fulfilment and alignment comes from knowledge of core values. I spent several months developing my personal list, and it has become a crucial part of our leadership training at our company.
Core values can be applied to most important situations and decisions in life, far more than any set of rules could. Once you know your core values, you’ll make better decisions with your time and energy, and you’ll align your life to what matters most. The individuals who acted bravely to save would-be victims of the Holocaust were never explicitly told to do that. It was following the values that were instilled and strengthened throughout their lives that brought them to a logical, courageous decision.
Be AUTHENTIC and STICK to your values
In my blog on visionary leadership, I show that being true to yourself and having strong values that you stick by is essential if you want to be a great, authentic leader! Being a leader means people are watching you all the time to see whether you act consistently and practice what you preach. It’s important to sit down and figure out what you value; not just in work, but in life as well. You also need to remember that everyone has values, and a lot of us value integrity – especially in our leaders! You can’t be an effective leader without trust, so be authentic and stick to your values. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not!
KNOW YOUR VALUES through Leadership Training
Clarity on your values and a new perspective, especially for you as a leader is very important, so I am here to support you for your next level of success through three leadership opportunities:
1. Join my Course to your Inner Courage and Kindness – and it’s only $47! I am beyond excited and privileged to have you working with me on my First Comes Courage Read-Along Course. Book your spot, grab the book and make this year a year of Courage! Join alone or as a team! Start anytime…
2. Coaching helps leaders go from good to exceptional. Coaching conversations:
- build self-awareness
- uncover hidden strengths and limiting beliefs
- offer new perspectives
- evoke insight
- support goal-setting, accountability and achievement
- improve communication, and
- enhance performance
Book a FREE discovery session
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Get in touch today to learn more about building leadership skills and set yourself up for success!
Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.