5 Practices of Values-Based Leaders

Are your personal values personal? They shouldn’t be if you want to make a difference.

Something personal is not often discussed. It’s rarely discussed, and held close to the chest. Your values need to be unleashed, visible in your actions, apparent in your words. Your team members need to experience your personal values in your interactions. Personal values need to be known and shown. Personal values are extended gracefully.

For values to have meaning and impact, they need to shape your beliefs and behaviors. They are your origins. Whether at home or at work, your personal values don’t change. They are woven into your being. They shape how you make sense of the world. But be mindful of biases that trick you to believe and act in ways that lead you astray from what you stand for.

So, it’s with an eye on the aspirational nature of values and on the deception we are prone to fall for, after all, we are human and flawed, that habits of values-based

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leaders become crucial. The habits of values-based leaders sharpen the clarity of personal values and uphold our courage to follow them.

It does not matter the context of leader – work or otherwise. As long as we, the ones anchored by values and called to explore to understand their meaning, adhere to their direction and act accordingly. We can be leaders in any context.

So what are the practices of values-based leaders? Here are five main habits.

1. Know Your Values

Most can’t list their personal values. Some may rattle off the ubiquitous ones—integrity, love, service—but they may not fully fit who the person is. To be a human-centered leader, it’s key to know without hesitation what your values are. I recommend using Luck Companies™values identifier tool. It’s a free resource that will walk you through an intentional set of exercises. I’ve completed most of the exercises and have found them to be enlightening.

2. Define Values

After identifying values, values-based leaders define what the values mean to them. The definitions include behaviors to help make the values actionable, knowable by others.

3. Reflect on Values

It’s true that you are the sum of your experiences. But you are prone to make erroneous conclusions about their evolving meaning. It is with a practice of reflection on how personal values direct your actions and how they enrich your life that counters the blind spots you develop that shape how you make sense of the world, interactions, and actions.

4. Build Intentional Relationships

Values-based leaders form relationships with those who help them grow. This requires that a diverse mix of people with complimentary value-sets surround you.

5. Mindfulness

In today’s business environment, leaders must understand the impact they have on others: their presence, their words, their silence, their actions, and, yes, their lack of action. Mindfulness leads to clarity. And clarity leads to alignment with values. It’s a virtuous cycle.

By no means is this an exhaustive list. You likely have habits that help you remain true to what you stand for. Share them below so that we all can learn from each other.

This post originally appeared on our good friend’s blog at Luck Companies™– ValuesBasedLeadership.com.

Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and CEO of ExchangeGain. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post. The Optimistic Workplace (AMACOM) out 2015

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