By Linda Alepin and Barbara Key
Leadership Challenge® by Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes is recognized as one of the top 100 best business books. Based on hundreds of thousands of interviews, it introduces five practices that can give everyone access to being an exemplary leader. The first of those practices is Model the Way.
Step one in modeling the way is to clarify your values. Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.
What do you care about? Personally? Organizationally? Answering these questions can uncover true values.
You may identify a long list of what you care about; for example, relating to health, family, and community. What are the three most important values for you?
What are everyday examples from both your personal and organizational life that demonstrate your commitment to them?
These examples are the second step in modeling the way – living by them.
Values are your personal bottom line. They influence every aspect of your life; e.g. moral judgments, commitments to personal & organizational goals, and the way you respond to others. They serve as guides in action and set the parameters for the hundreds of decisions you make. They tell you when to say yes and when to say no.
Step three is broadening personal care to the team level. Sharing what you care about with your team builds trust because they learn about what is important to you and what that will mean for them when working with you.
The clearer you are about your values, the easier it is for you and everyone else to commit to the chosen path and to stay on it. When there are daily challenges that can throw you off course, it is crucial that you have some way to tell which way is true north. Your values are a compass with which to navigate the course of your daily life.
What steps will you take to apply your values in modeling the way in 2020?