Lead with Values

Values Are Your Barometer


Paul Larsen, in his book, Find Your Voice As A Leader, (Aviva Publishing, 2016) recognizes that because we set our personal standards with our values, they serve as gauges or barometers for the important things in our lives. Values are barometers.

 You see, your sense of success is based on how well you feel you’re upholding your values. For example, if relationships are a high value, you can assess how many new ones you made, or how many struggling ones you mended. If you value humility, you can judge how well you allowed others to be lifted up and recognized.

 As a leader, your satisfaction or fulfillment can be gauged by your values of serving or hard work. You are rewarded with great feelings and a sense of worth when your values lead you to make a positive impact in these areas.

 A high value of optimism or excellence can impact your emotional level or state of energy. Similarly, a high value of loyalty or commitment impacts your perception and approach to challenges, endurance, and perseverance.

 Values As Warnings

 Larsen also sites that leaders whose roles are misaligned with their values experience inner conflict, stress, or frustration. You may be a leader facing hardships without recognizing the reasons. An inner look at your values may reveal some contradictions in your business life that need to be addressed.

 If you value transparency and you are required to be vague in dealing with difficult  issues with your people, you will be torn inside. Your emotions and spirit will suffer by going down a contrary path.

 If you value excellence, you will be discouraged and defeated if the pressures of your environment force your people to submit substandard work. Your inner-self is in conflict with your actions.

 If you value relationships, you will be distressed if your workload doesn’t permit you to engage your people in ways that allow you to know them. You’ll sense an emptiness inside that won’t go away.

 An area that is often a source of conflict in leadership is faith. Many leaders have not done the work to understand their values and the workplace. Often leaders seek black and white value alignment when in reality there are many shades of gray that require thinking and prayer, even as a strong believer.

Look for the warning signs. I see this in the clients I coach (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) whose responses to situations, confidence, positivity, and quality of relationships are affected by actions that contradict values. This is another reason why assessing your values is so critical. Allow a coach or mentor take you through the process of identifying those ideals that you strongly believe in.

 Assess your job, your work and your relationship paths to see where you fit and where you don’t. Make changes before a value-action misalignment takes you further down a painful path. No one benefits if you are in conflict with your values.

What do you think? What do your barometers tell you about your values? How are your actions aligned with your values? I’d love to hear from you.

I am Marc Ottestad – leadership coaching on faith- focus and freedom for Christian Business Owners.

 If you are stimulated by the idea of faith and leadership, let’s connect. I can be reached at marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818

Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple


Leading by Godly Values

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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

  • Honesty

  • Integrity

  • Accountability

  • Humility

  • Loyalty

  • Serving others

  • Excellence

  • Optimism

  • Relationships

  • Hard Work


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 marc@moleadershipcoaching.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.