The Essential Leadership Values
The Essential leadership values
By Mark Wager
Leadership is the ability to instil power and belief into individuals and teams in order for them to reach levels they didn’t realise could be possible. Leaders create strong emotional connections which build loyalty, trust and engagement. These can only be created through honest open interactions through which the leader’s values are demonstrated. It is these very values that determine the effectiveness of a leader and I would like to take this opportunity to share my own personal leadership values which have been developed and refined over the course of my twenty five years as a leader. In my opinion these values are essential for any leader who truly wants to make a difference.
Always keep your word
People need to have a level of trust and confidence in their leaders. If you say you are going to do something then do it. It doesn’t matter how small, such as saying you will email someone back by a certain time. If for some unforeseen reason you can’t, then let them know so that they don’t think they are forgotten. It may seem a small thing but for the person concerned it's not. If they can’t have faith that you will do the small things then how on earth can they have faith that you will do the things that really matter.
Always do what’s right legally and morally
People by their very nature, when faced with a decision will be drawn to the easiest option, the route of least discomfort. Leaders need to see the long term consequences and sometimes the route that seems easy today may contain some hidden long term pain. The temptation to always seek the easiest option is around us on a daily basis but leaders need to do what’s right both legally and morally because people need their leader to make the decisions that they can’t make.
Don’t back down from a challenge
There’s never been a person who has achieved greatness without having an inner fear whispering to them that they could have made a wrong decision. It takes courage to ignore that voice because let’s be honest that inner voice of caution can be incredibly compelling sometimes. It takes courage to follow someone and that courage will only exist if they see courage demonstrated by their leader. Take the chances necessary. Greatness is never achieved by playing it safe. At the heart of every failure rests the genesis of your greatest success.
Always tell the truth
This should be a given but it’s amazing how many leaders I know who fall short of this value. Over the years I’ve learned that you can have any conversation with anyone if you have the right intent, humility and respect. So don’t shy away from telling people the truth. People will respect you for it because you are showing them the respect to handle the truth.
Always do what’s expected from you
The reason why people get paid a salary is that they get monetary compensation for certain duties. Unless you are incredibly lucky, you don’t get to pick and chose those duties based on what you prefer to do. Do your job and do it well. You don’t get the luxury of influencing people unless you get the basics right first.
Treat everyone with polite respect
An integral part of any successful team is the ability to treat colleagues with respect. Therefore, as a leader you need to demonstrate the behaviours that you want to see in others. Don’t hold grudges with people and yes I know it’s hard but remember that when you fall out with people it’s their behaviours that you have an issue with and not them as a person. Be the better person, be the leader that your team needs you to be and treat people with respect despite the provocation to do otherwise.
Never forget that you still have much to learn
Quality leaders never stop learning. Never forget who you are and where you come from. Humility keeps life in perspective which can be a challenge as you experience more success. One of the most common failings among Leaders is their inability to effectively manage their ego which leads to them believing they are smarter, more important and occasionally funnier than they really are.
Prioritise the greater need ahead of personal glory
If you need to sum up what leadership means in one word then that word would be “sacrifice.” Leadership is about power and power was never meant to be kept. It was always meant to be shared. A true test of a leader is the ability to make a decision, without a second thought, that would benefit the team and may sometimes be to the detriment of themselves personally. Obviously you want to avoid these situations but if the need arises then as a leader you need to be prepared for the unexpected and the best way to do that is to know yourself and remember what you stand for. Keep your leadership values in perspective and at the heart of everything you do.
"When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier."
Roy E. Disney
About the Author:
Mark Wager is a Leadership Coach and International Author. Mark specialises in coaching people to unleash the natural leader within. Mark is available for in-person and on-line coaching, to contact Mark use the enquiry form below.
Posted: Monday 8 December 2014