Leading with heart

Great leadership doesn’t require lofty positions. Leadership is the degree to which you are willing to influence those around you. The key to great influence is your values. What do you value most? To what extent do you exercise your influence in places and in ways that make a difference and are aligned with your core values? You can’t influence others if you aren’t clear about that. If you allow distractions at work and at home to influence your decisions, they can easily sidetrack you.

Most organizations get into trouble when the leaders of those organizations begin to compromise their values. I know many organization leaders who say they are committed to making decisions based on the core values, but when push comes to shove, they sacrifice those values in service of the bottom line. If there is unrest in the organization where you work or in your life personally, I can guarantee you have values conflict. It takes courage and heart to be true to what matters. If your organization is not living in alignment with a set of sound core values, profit won’t fix it, new offices won’t fix it, happy board of directors won’t fix it, and pretending won’t fix it! The only thing that will fix it is courage. Courage to do whatever it takes to live in alignment with your core values.

If you are a leader of an organization, do your people the service of rigorously adhering to the values. If you don’t have them identified, get a group together and identify them. If you do have established values but they are just a nice poster on the wall, get busy establishing a plan for full and rigorous implementation. Here are the steps to determine your core values:

Answer the following questions:
1. What do you value most?
2. How do you know?
3. What are you going to do to drive those values into the organization’s culture or deeper into your daily life?

If you are in an organization that is not values based, and is not living by a clear and purposeful set of values then:
1. Determine how much energy you are willing to invest to change it.
2. If you aren’t willing to do anything then ask yourself, “what you are valuing to stay there?”
3. Find ways to invest energy in places where you are living in alignment with what really matters.

Think of it this way, would you be willing to follow and trust a person with shaky values? Absolutely not!

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