Leading by Your Values

Leading by Your Values

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, and often 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. 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. Prioritizing just a few prevents 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...
Compulsive Leaders Pose Unique Challenges

Compulsive Leaders Pose Unique Challenges

Most corporate cultures place a high value on accomplishment and productivity, which explains why so many compulsive, driven leaders rise to executive positions. The business landscape is filled with leaders who, while bent on achieving success, present difficulties for the people who work for them. While compulsive leaders can claim credit for myriad workplace advancements, their obsession with tasks and goals contributes to employee dissatisfaction and disengagement. If you report to a compulsive leader, you likely experience mixed feelings over completing great work vs. bearing the pain that comes with it. Are You Compulsively Driven? Compulsive leaders are often referred to as control freaks. They’re obsessed with producing, orchestrating, winning and looking the part. Our corporate culture promotes this mindset, so we are raising these types of leaders in droves, notes management consultant Steve Tobak in "Why Control Freaks Are Natural Leaders" (CBS Moneywatch, August 25, 2011). Compulsive leaders are appreciated from the top echelons, but not as much from the bottom ones. They are overachievers, with no interest in letting up because they must win at any cost. They expect their people to be as efficient and goal-oriented as they are. Unfortunately, it’s not a realistic expectation. Leaders with compulsive tendencies focus on tasks, checklists and goals to produce the fastest and best results, win battles, maximize success and gain favor. Their insistence on hard work and achievement overshadows people’s needs, suggests Beatrice Chestnut, PhD, in The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace (Post Hill Press, 2017). They chase the common rewards of accomplishment: position, possessions, influence, respect and a...