While experience and skill sets are essential for effective leadership, there’s another dimension often overlooked by organizations — core values.
Values-based leadership philosophy asserts that people are mostly motivated by values and live according to these beliefs. In other words, values are our most natural motivator.
Companies that are led by leaders guided by core values are often the ones that stay competitive in the long run. This is because they have a culture of trust and respect that attracts top talent.
When core values aren’t present among an organization’s executives, the result often yields disgruntled employees who are not content with the toxic workplace culture. When companies have unsatisfied employees, they end up resenting their jobs or leaving at the first opportunity that comes to them.
It’s not uncommon among executive leadership consultants to go as far as proclaim that impactful leadership occurs within the context of core values. Leaders guide and facilitate others to make a positive difference in their own lives and to contribute to a larger good. Values inform the application of leadership qualities as the competencies of leadership are activated – learned, developed and practiced – within the set of core values.
By focusing on what people believe and value, and then positively building on this understanding, an organization’s executive leaders have the potential for far greater productivity than approaching leadership development as a skill-oriented, problem-solving activity.
One of the most important leadership core values is treating team members with respect. This covers self-respect and respecting others regardless of differences — treating others with dignity, empathy and compassion and the ability to earn the respect of others.
Integrity is another important core value. Integrity is demonstrated by moral courage, ethical strength and trustworthiness, which includes keeping promises and fulfilling expectations.
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