What You Don’t See & Say Can Hurt You
(and Your Team)
by Robin Eisenberg,
Vice President, Swim Consultant
There are many components to a successful business. We can look at your business model, staffing, facilities, policies and procedures, customers and so much more. However, let’s take a step back and think about one of the key foundations of your business, your values.
How are your values expressed and visible in your business?
By keeping them to yourself and not sharing, you could undermine your good intentions and potentially the success of your business. Your personal values are those ideas and ideals which you believe are most important to achieving your goals.
Leadership values are the core beliefs and principles that guide leaders and managers in their personal and professional lives. These values allow you to oversee, lead and manage others effectively. Without these core beliefs and principles, how will you determine your leadership style and methods for achieving your goals?
- play an important role in decision-making process
- guide your daily actions
- help you develop personally
- enhance professional growth
- establish respect
- build trust
- create the foundation for positive influence
- encourage high performance and excellence
By connecting these core beliefs and principles closely to your personal core values, your role as a leader will be less stressful, more rewarding and will establish a strong foundation for your business.
You might be thinking, everyone has values but not everyone exhibits good leadership values. Anyone in a leadership role should be aware of the standards they hold, their strengths, and the areas for improvement in order to grow as a leader. This belief system determines how you execute leadership, the team environment you create and the success of your company. Your integrity as a leader will permeate your entire organization and will positively impact performance.
One of the ways to express your personal and leadership values is through your company’s mission, vision and core values. Does your company have a mission statement? Does it have a vision statement? Do you have a list of your company’s core values which mirror your personal values? If the answer is yes, great! When was the last time they were revisited? Do they still represent your organization? Are they prominently displayed on your website, in brochures and on your walls? If the answer is no, consider making this a priority.
Questions for Reflection:
- How do you describe your leadership style?
- What values guide your leadership style?
- Who are your leadership role models and why?
- What can you glean from their experience which will enable you to be a better leader?
- Have you shared with them the impact they had on you?
- How are you a role model to others?
There are many authorities on leadership who have created “labels” which allow you to discover your style and put a name to it. Think about other leaders with whom you have worked. Did their style (Domineering? Empowering? Unpredictable? Democratic?) reflect their values?
“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.”
~ John Wooden
What values guide your personal decisions, and how do they impact your role as a leader in your business? What do you care deeply about? Leaders of great teams have a rock-solid commitment to what they believe and share it with their team, their customers and their industry. Leaders of great teams have unswerving commitment to what they believe in. Consistency not only generates confidence and trust but sets a standard for others.
If you aren’t sure where to start, connect with us for a complimentary consultation. 3rd Level Consulting and Swim Consultant are here to help you every step of the way. Our Leadership Courses are described here and our current courses that are being offered for you and your team can be found here.
Establish a Daily Practice
Seek out others who inspire you and align with your values. Use quotes and stories as part of each training session, part of each interview and any chance you have to share. Great leaders use stories to help their employees find meaning amid chaos. They organize facts and provide context, differentiating between data and opinion. Our stories have the power to influence and/or inspire others. I am a firm believer in learning from quotations from famous and sometimes not so famous people. In each of the Leadership Courses I facilitate; a segment of each session reflects on quotations and how you might incorporate this wisdom into your practice.
Now that you have done some self-reflection, I wanted to share just 5 values to demonstrate how personal values can become organizational values. I chose these (Humility, Respect, Empathy, Honesty, Vision) because these are some of my own values which I continually strive to demonstrate both personally and professionally. There are, of course many others but I hope this will give you food for thought.
- Humility allows leaders to remain ethical and morally sound. How you present and share successes with your team can increase the respect and admiration for you as a leader. Leaders must be constantly learning, and this requires humility. Admit that you do not know everything. Take advantage of opportunities to build wisdom, and let others know of your quest for growth. Humility also means knowing when to ask for input from others.
- Respect refers to feelings of admiration for the qualities, abilities or achievements of others as well as to be aware of their rights, wishes and feelings. Good leaders earn the respect of others rather than simply expecting to receive respect because of their position or title. As a leader, you can demonstrate the following behaviors: empowerment, recognition and empathy. One of the best ways to earn respect is to show respect.
- Empathyis the ability to understand others, see from their point of view and feel what they are feeling. The importance of empathy as a leadership value is not simply to be nice or likable. You can build a far stronger team by exercising empathy and understanding each person’s motivations with whom you work. Empathy will help you match people’s strengths and skills to roles where they can make the most impact. By seeking to figuratively “put yourself in others’ shoes”, you will build and sustain positive and productive relationships. Empathy is a value that is held in high regard by many business leaders.
- Honesty refers to the ability to discuss topics with others in a clear and truthful manner. Employees want a leader who is honest and transparent about their performance, business objectives and directives and what is happening in the company. When others know they can rely on the things you say and promise, it builds trust and respect and makes you a more effective leader.
- Vision refers to knowing what your goals and objectives are and having a clear plan for achieving those goals. Successful leadership includes the leader’s ability to communicate that vision to their team members. Effective and engaging communication as to the company’s goals and why they are important will establish a team focused and passionate about the objectives. Having a focused long-term outlook and sharing that in a meaningful, actionable way will allow you to truly become what you seek in the next 5, 10 or 20 years.
In this blog, I have introduced the importance of knowing your personal values and incorporating them into your business model. Through development of mission, vision and values statements, as well as through leadership development, your business will be stronger if your values are known to your team and are seen as an essential component of your business.
If you would like more information on Leadership programs as well as development of mission, vision and value statements, please reach out to me by clicking HERE and mention this blog in your comments. It would be my pleasure to have an exploratory conversation about the options we offer. 3rd Level Consulting and Swim Consultant are here to help you with every aspect of your business. Leadership Courses are described here and our current courses that are being offered for you and your team can be found here.
3rd Level Consulting offers regularly scheduled webinars on topics of value to your business.
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