The only four values you will ever need as a leader
May 22, 2019
Most leaders talk about their values and those of the organisation.
However all too often the values of the leader and the organisation are different, they are not communicated through the organisation, they are not clear for customers and suppliers and they very quickly get lost, forgotten or over-ridden by new pressing challenges.
So I believe that only a handful of clear and concise values are needed which align the people, organisation and stakeholders and which can be lived day in and day out by the leadership which is much more likely to help them stick.
I have learnt that there are four core values and I firmly believe that these are the only values you will ever need. It may be that you choose a couple more to represent yourself or your organisation but these core values cover the bases.
- Personal Responsibility
This is taking ownership for your thoughts, feelings, action and reactions. It is also accepting the consequences that follow from how you speak and act with others in your personal and professional life. Personal Responsibility is a willingness to look at oneself rather than at others and point a finger of blame. It includes taking responsibility for our own mistakes and rectifying these.
- Personal Integrity
The connection between our head and our heart. It can be very easy to loose this connection to our moral compass when we are consumed with everyday problems but a great way to connect to your personal integrity is to pause for a moment and simply ask ‘how do I feel about this’ as well as ‘what do I think about this’. Personal Integrity is the voice of conscience and how many times would things have turned out differently if you had just stopped to ask yourself this question? Many people worry more about what others will think of them rather than what they feel about themselves.
Authenticity is being real with yourself and speaking your truth. It’s communicating as clearly and honestly as you can without using sarcasm, criticism or manipulation to get your point across. Sometimes it is as easy as rather than telling somebody that they are in your way it is simply asking them to move. This may seem obvious but pointing out somebody’s mistake is not asking them to do it differently. Speaking clearly and honestly avoids confusion, conflict and chaos.
- Equal Dignity
We all know about treating others as we would wish to be treated ourselves but how often do we treat ourselves as we would wish to be treated by others? We can treat others with equal dignity even if we are angry and nothing prevents us from doing this unless we are unable to treat ourselves with equal dignity too. So try not to judge others of yourself unfairly and don’t talk down to, lecture, vote down, label or make fun of others or yourself. Treat others and yourself with equal dignity.
So these are the core values which I try and abide by in my personal and professional life.
How would they work for you?
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About the Author
Jesper Juul (1948) is a family therapist, husband, father and a grandfather. He is the author of numerous books and a renowned international public speaker and has founded Familylab International - an organization committed to inspire parents to find new and healthier ways to become a succesful family and professionals to create more profound relationships with children and youth in their care.