Leadership Begins with Values

For the first 8.5 years of my professional career, I worked for a company whose principal focus was assisting organizations with solidifying the civility of their workplace. The company takes a top-down approach to helping its clients establish great places to work, with a clear focus on doing right by its employees — promoting ethics, values and respect for others. Years later, I continue to assist the company as a consultant because of its great message and focus on behavior change.

As America watches the Presidential Election unfold, we all are wondering, “What’s next?” With each and every day, it becomes more and more evident that most of us are left wanting another alternative (choice). We expect our Commander In Chief to be honest, respectful and full of integrity. This person should be inclusive of all races and nationalities, protecting our freedoms and abiding by our Constitution. It appears that civility and integrity are absent from this presidential race.


Where do our morals, values and inherent beliefs originate?

I’m a huge believer that we are all by products of our environment. Where we are born and raised, what our parents instill in us during our early childhood and who we surround ourselves with all play a strong factor in defining our morals, values and beliefs.

Furthermore, people in positions that directly supervise and influence us have an impact who we want to become, both personally and professionally.


Do our values change over time?

Our personality hinges on what we value and deem as important. Some researchers believe that one’s personality is formed at an early age, but that there can be small changes to it based on external factors (job situation; personal/professional experiences; leadership influences and expectations).

It is my belief that everyone should be constantly looking for ways to develop themselves personally and professionally. Self-awareness should be part of everyone’s development process, as it helps shed light on how one communicates with (and relates to) others. Some personality inventories can indicate if we have unconscious biases that can potentially be detrimental to our professional relationships. Have you taken a personality inventory? What did it say about you?


How do you define a “Role Model”?

A “Role Model” is someone we want our sons and daughters to work for (professionally) and grow old with (personally). They are people that treat others using the Platinum Rule, which is to treat others as they would want to be treated. In essence, a role model has the right value system. They are selfless and humble, putting others before themselves. Most believe the greatest role models to be servant leaders.

As a leader, it is important for you to be clear about your values. Determine what you can do to be a role model for others. Take an “open book” approach with your employees. Be mindful of what you are conveying to them, and make sure your values are aligned.

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