What do you value? The list of potential values is long, ranging from advancement to zest and including knowledge, excitement, wealth, recognition, challenge, joy, self-expression, and many more. It’s no secret that different people value different things, but have you ever stopped to think about the correlation between values and leadership?
Your behavior, which includes everything from how you treat other people to how you make decisions, is shaped by your values. It’s a natural phenomenon that those who connect with your values are likely to be attracted to you, and conversely, you may not get along with those whose values conflict with yours.
Is it a good strategy to change your values to try to get along with everyone? Absolutely not. While your values may organically change over time, that happens because your needs have changed; it shouldn’t occur at the behest of someone else, because that results in the opposite of being authentic, something all good leaders should strive to be.
Authentic leaders are role models for moral and fair behavior; they don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk—behaving in ways that are consistent with their values. Their leadership style is transparent and they make realistic choices, understanding that those with similar values will follow them, while others may not. It all boils down to this: authentic leaders never apologize for their values and they have the courage to follow through on what they believe.
What makes you tick? Gaining this understanding can mean the difference between success and failure as a leader—and it’s key to helping you feel in control, knowing why you do what you do.
The starting point in this process is to determine what motivates you. Your primary driver may be found on this list:
- Gaining approval from experts.
- Making money.
- Succeeding on your own.
- Gaining respect from friends.
- Competing and winning.
- Working hard and excelling.
- Gaining recognition from peers and within your industry.
Or, you may be motivated by something else. Regardless of what drives you, it’s the basis for your values, and it will go a long way toward determining your success in the business world. As you grow to understand yourself and your values, you’ll find decision-making is easier, as is surrounding yourself with like-minded people who will be drawn to your authentic self.