As a leader, the only effective way you can direct your life and the lives of others is to truly know what you stand for. Your personal principles or values direct your thoughts, priorities, preferences, and actions. The aspects of life that you value shape your character, which determine how you lead. They determine how you do everything.
Unfortunately, many leaders haven’t identified their values. This is true in the world of secular and faith-based leadership. What I often see with the clients I coach: they find their roles frustrating, confusing, or unfulfilling. If a leader’s experience can be described this way, imagine what their people are experiencing. If you struggle with internal conflicts, or have a sense of something important missing from your life, assess your values.
Max Klau states in his Harvard Business Review article, Twenty-First Century Leadership: It’s All About Values, that a significant purpose of personal values is to serve a cause greater than yourself. Great leaders have a vision of serving by contributing to a cause where they try not to be the focal point. This requires a set of values based on benefiting others.
For faith-based leaders that cause could be defined as worship as we work unto the Lord. Understanding how to attach your faith to your values in the workplace is important work.
Your values are simply your ideals, the foundational principles that you live by. They are the important standards you feel should govern body, mind, and spirit, manifested throughout the course of your personal and business life. Generally, people resonate most with a handful of values, each having a great influence on their character. I suggest to prioritize just a few to prevent losing focus.
Some examples of personal values that leaders have been known to embrace
The list is broad. No two leaders will have the same set of core values. They are almost as unique as fingerprints. Look at what you “do” today as an indicator. Your values establish your personal standards for what is right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable. They are the basis for judging your personal progress of growth, your impact on your areas of responsibility, the contributions you’ve made and the satisfaction you receive.
Take a run at identifying 3 to 5 and then force rank them. This is a great opportunity to connect with God and listen to how He made you and how He wants to grow you.
The good news about this process is that it moves your conversations and your identity towards alignment. This happens as you plan, execute and assess. You may find values that are spoken but not acted out are the cause of the frustration. As you do this over and over the frustration you and others were feeling will be gone!
My values are Faithfulness, Resourcefulness and Persistence. These values anchor me in my life, my work and my challenges.
Have you identified your values as a Christian CEO? How do they shape your leadership? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here email@example.com and on LinkedIn.
If you are drawn towards leadership and faith and how that works for you and others I would love to connect. Here is my calendar.