On Leadership, Values and Beliefs


Since the early 1900’s social scientists have developed a number of approaches by which to consider leadership. Lists of characteristics, influencers, behaviors, style definitions, and processes all build upon, yet sometimes conflict with each other.

A leader can learn the characteristics, confidence, behaviors and styles that are most effective, given the specific situational variables.

However,  certain inherent attributes are necessary that influence the leader’s behavior in a group or organization.

On Values and Beliefs

At the core of every thought and interaction is a set of deeply rooted values and beliefs.

We are all guided by our values. How we choose to react to others is influenced by what we value.

When I ask clients to identify their five most important values  I get a deer-in-headlights look back.

It is often the case that we are not even consciously aware of the values that influence our decisions and interactions.  When a cord is struck with us that goes against our values we feel it as stress, anger, frustration, and even betrayal. The same is true for a group of people in an organization.

Recalibrate Values Cards

What are the Top Values of everyone you lead? Find out here.
Recalibrate Values-Cards Exercise

Understanding Values

Think of your last job interview. Did the topic of values come up? Leading others means understanding the collective values and shared sense of purpose.

When personal values do not align with company values work becomes just a job.

When a company decision directly opposes a personal value the impact is disengagement, low morale, and lower productivity.

Leaders who understand this need to do three things:

1.Reflect on the principles, beliefs and values that drive themselves

2. Engage in work that aligns with their values

3. Understand and engage others whose values align

Knowing yourself and letting others know you as a leader will define you as authentic.

Learning To Lead Yourself

Leadership is a cycle of self-reflection and action. The first step in developing as a leader is having a very honest conversation with yourself about what you value.

Consider a list of values and circle the ones that stand out to you.Now cross some off so that you only have ten left. Now take five more off the list of circled values. Those are your top five values. Try crossing off three more. Then one more.

What is left is your core value; the one thing that you would not compromise. The one thing that, if others threaten, you react strongly. This is the one thing that guides everything you do. It is deeply rooted and part of you.

What is a guiding principle by which you live? What is one virtue you could not live without? How is your core value evident in your leadership? Have you ever been in a position where your values were threatened or did not fit with what you were expected to do? What did you do? How do these values align with your organizational values?


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Jacqueline De Leebeeck
Jacqueline De Leebeeck is founding partner of Savvy
She facilitates leadership capacity building and team development
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web

Image Sources: startofhappiness.com

Dirt Road Leadership

Dirt Road

I have a dirt road heritage. Much of my roots stem from a tiny patch of land in the mountains of very rural Alabama.

Proud? You bet.

And really it is not just a heritage thing. It is mostly because I was raised with some very strong values. Values are the foundation in my life. And that is a good thing.

On Leadership and Values

Values are the foundation of leadership as well. A new buzz in the current leadership books depicts Values Driven Leadership as all the rage. Values are absolutely the frame that surrounds the picture all of our best laid plans.

But how do we determine them?

Getting Started

Here’s an idea that will work. Take your blank legal pad and your trustworthy writing implement. Open up the flood gate of ideas in bullet form fashion and as fast and furiously as you can list all the things that you count as important to who you are and what defines you as an individual.

Let this be a time of idea fluency.

Green light every idea, don’t second guess anything as you list every little thing you think is part of the definition of your existence.

Now take a break, step away from the pad, go let your mind do something else. Get something to drink – I suggest Diet Coke.

Round Two

At some not so distant future time, come back to the pad and cross out half of them that if you had to choose only half, could be eliminated.

Now take a break, step away from the pad, go let your mind do something else. Get something to drink – I suggest Diet Coke.

Again, return to your thoughts and cross out half of them that are the lesser important statements.

Take a break, you know the drill.


Values Sorting Exercise with Recalibrate Cards

Values drive decisions. Decisions drive behaviors. Behaviors drive results.

Recalibrate Cards - Values Sorting & Prioritization Exercise

Round Three

Repeat this process until you absolutely cannot eliminate any other statements because they are just too important to you. These remaining ideals, friends, are your values. These are the core of your existence, the things you would take a bullet for.

This is the outline for your values statement which gives you the framework for your mission and your vision. These are the foundations of your life. You have a reason and means to define your existence.

Interestingly enough it works for your team, in a corporate setting as well. Give it a try, it will give you sure footing in an ever-changing world.

Here’s to dirt roads, diet cokes, values and leadership.

So, how fully aware are are you of your personal values? Have you taken an inventory to see what is driving your decisions, behaviors, and results? If not, take a minute and see how powerful this can be to help you raise your level of personal leadership effectiveness. You will be glad you did!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Dr. Dan Roberts
Dr. Dan Roberts is professor of Organizational Leadership at Point University
His teaches “If you desire to lead, you must decide to serve.”
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web | Skype: Danroberts531

Image Sources: 99mag.com


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