In order to understand leadership skills, it is first important to understand what leadership values are. Essentially, your leadership values could be defined as how you personally think are important to being successful and reaching your goals. Leadership values are extremely closely related to your organization’s values and your own personal core personal values. These two are indeed a vital part of becoming a powerful leader.
Leadership values could refer to your values regarding fairness, integrity, and responsibility. It also refers to the attitudes you have towards other people and toward the work you do. It could also refer to the attitudes you have towards your own behavior, such as your own ego, competitiveness, and pride. Some leadership models suggest that leaders only have certain core leadership values, whereas others suggest that there should be an array of personal values that the leader adopts in his or her own psyche. Nevertheless, the core leadership values remain consistent between individuals and organizations.
In order to effectively lead others, you must first build your own inner core leadership values. Most importantly, these core leadership values should guide all your behavior – both your professional and your personal choices. Here are some of the ways you can develop your own personal core leadership values:
Empathy refers to your ability to truly understand and recognize the feelings and needs of people around you. As a leader, it is important that you are able to build trust with your team members, as well as with other external factors, such as customers and colleagues. If you lack empathy, you might not be able to relate to your team members, their problems, and their hopes and dreams.
Integrity is one of the most important leadership values. Sometimes this takes on a more personal level, as people begin to realize that you are putting your own interests ahead of their own. However, if you take a strong stance on integrity, your values become more than just something to keep yourself from being distracted by your own selfish desires. For example, when planning a large project, leaders should consider the impact it will have on the organization as a whole and on each individual employee. Leadership success depends upon being able to plan an effective and ethical project while still preserving the interests of everyone else involved.
A crucial part of leadership success is understanding how to balance these three values. While each value can be strong in and of itself, if they are not balanced with other values, the results that you want for your team, your clients, and other external pressures will be ineffective. Leaders must find a way to balance the three values, working to ensure that the three P’s are equally represented within their self-imposed limitations. Ideally, leaders will strive to:
Understanding the ways in which these three leadership values interact and work together can be complicated for some individuals and organizations. A great example involves a team composed of three teenagers who were fighting over whose turn it was at the sink. After taking care of business for a few minutes, the teenage girl stepped into the sink and began fighting with her partner over who was going to get the next basin. The leader of the team stepped in and attempted to break up the argument, but it quickly turned back into a big fight again. Eventually, the leader decided that it was best for him to step away from the situation and allow the teenagers to settle their dispute without any intervention on his part.
Learning how to appropriately balance leadership values requires that you first identify your own personal values. Next, you must set aside time on a regular basis to assess how these personal values match up against the organizational core values. Finally, you must identify the conflicts that you will face in trying to maintain the appropriate balance between personal and organizational leadership values. Once you have established a system for maintaining this balance, you will be well on your way to developing an effective leader who displays the characteristics necessary for effective leadership.