Values and behavior are a core part of fulfilling our purpose and manifesting our vision. The clearer we are about our values, the more engaged we are with our work and life. And when our values are mirrored in the organizations or business that we are part of, there is even greater energy, engagement and flow.
As managers, leaders and business owners, we set the context and tone of our organization and business – its internal culture and interactions with our customers and suppliers. A great deal of credibility, trust and engagement is lost when certain values are espoused as being fundamental to the business but fail to be reflected in everyday behavior. Leadership integrity is truly compromised.
Do as you say and lead by example are maxims with proven value. If respect is a core value and your behavior is consistently disrespectful, you are doing vast damage to your name and brand. Conversely, if you negotiate through discussions in a respectful way, even in times of pressure and conflict, then as a leader you are truly creating value regardless of the outcome.
Your business culture gets reinforced through pivotal moments of truth and this is a time when values come under heavy scrutiny. You will have many of your own examples when things didn’t quite live up to the promise, or when they created a “wow” experience by exceeding the promise.
Here are three SQ leadership insights you may wish to be mindful of in reinforcing your values:
- Know that as a leader and or business owner you are continuously being watched. Be conscious of what you are saying and doing and “who you are being.” You are setting an example and benchmark of what is okay and what isn’t. Create a culture where your people – regardless of their position – have a sense of pride in living and delivering on those values.
- As a leadership team or individually – through your actions create a value bank of great examples – big and small – of how your core values have been lived. Breathe life into your values and share stories at every level of organization and business of how someone lived up to the values regularly.
- Be open to feedback about times when there may have been a breakdown in delivering on those values, and take corrective action sooner rather than later. Your values are the foundational touchstone of you and your business. Be congruent in your words and deeds. Take consistent action and watch your values grow virally, as they in turn, grow you.