In the previous article we saw that building a New Leadership Structure means developing a framework within which you can lead and guide others, such as your team. We define a leadership structure as your own core principles, your values, combined with your purpose and vision. Within this framework, you can apply leadership skills based on positive psychology to achieve your goals with your team. In today’s article, I would like to discuss with you why values are important for you as a leader.  

What are beliefs? What are values? 

If you want to understand what values are, you also need to know about beliefs and your mindset. Beliefs are our assumptions about the world that we have developed through past or present experiences. Our beliefs are fleeting because our assumptions about the world change. Our mindset is a belief system that influences all areas of our lives. 

Values, on the other hand, are how we assign value to objects or behaviors. What we consider our values are usually established beliefs. Values are usually translated into principles – how we want to behave and how we expect others to behave toward us. In general, when we live in harmony with our values, we are happy and have a high quality of life. 

How you align your personal values with those of your group can have a significant impact on your success and happiness. Whether you’re part of a sports team, a book club, or a professional organization, understanding and sharing the same values as your teammates or colleagues can help create a more cohesive, productive, and positive environment.

Groups are always built on values and principles, so it is sometimes difficult for the individual to align with all the values of the group, such as the employer. If there is a mismatch of values, there is a high potential for conflict. These can happen:

  • In relationships, when the core values of the two partners are not aligned or close to each other.
  • In employee-employer relationships, when people work for someone but do not share the same values.
  • In sub-team constellations, where group dynamics influence values and
  • principles and individuals give up their own value system.
  • In these cases, if you have to neglect certain values over time, there is a high risk of conflict or suppression of your own needs which can lead to quitting your job or in the worst case exhaustion and burnout. 

7 reasons why leaders need to define their values

Why are values important for leaders? Values are the basis of your decisions. Values can be used to decide what to do and what not to do, who to work with and who not to work with, and how to lead. In other words, values determine how you lead!

If you want an example of how this works in practice, think of someone whose values are different from yours.

Why are values so important for leaders? - Amaze Growth
Why are values important for leaders? 2

So there are seven reasons why leaders need to be aware of their values: 

  1. Values drive your behavior: Values are not just a list of things you like or dislike. They’re a set of principles that guide your behavior and determine how you act in certain situations. Values drive your behavior, which means that if your values aren’t aligned with what’s important to the organization or your team, it can lead to conflict between you and your employees.
  2. Values determine how you lead: Values are your framework for defining principles for your team and organization. As a leader, you will have a strong influence on this set of principles, which may include some people more quickly who are close to your value system, or exclude others who are not in line with your value system.
  3. Values shape your vision and strategy: Values shape your vision and strategy because you can easily derive your own purpose – ‘why am I here’ and ‘what do I want to achieve in my life’. This is closely linked to your values
  4. Values help you define success and failure: Values help you to define success and failure for yourself. Success is not always about performance. It can be something as simple as being kind to others or doing your best in a given situation. Failure isn’t always about failing; sometimes it’s about learning from an experience and growing as a person. You can’t be successful if you don’t know what success looks like for you- and the same goes for failure! Values also help us define what’s important in our lives: family, friends and other relationships… or work? Time spent with family vs. time spent at work? What do we value more?
  5. Values define how other people perceive you: The second way to think about values is in terms of how they influence other people’s perceptions of you. Whether it’s a colleague, a client or a family member, people will form an opinion about the kind of person you are, based on the way you behave and act. If someone sees that your actions are consistent with their own value system, they are likely to have a positive perception of who and what you represent as an individual. On the other hand, if someone perceives themselves as being very different from another person because of differences in values or beliefs (even if these differences are minor), this can lead them to make negative judgements about each other, which can affect future interactions between them.
  6. Values are the guiding principles for your team: Values are critical to leadership because they provide a framework from which everything else flows. Values are the core of leadership, the essence of leadership, the foundation of everything. They’re what make you who you are as a leader and guide your decisions in every situation. When we talk about values and how they affect our lives, we often focus on how they affect our personal qualities or our relationships with others – but this is only part of what makes them so important in the workplace! Values also affect the way people interact within an organization: if everyone shares similar beliefs about what’s important (such as teamwork), then everyone can work together towards common goals without conflict over different priorities or ideas about how things should be done differently.
  7. Values help you make decisions: Leaders need values to help them make decisions and experience life. Values drive your behavior, determine how you lead, shape your vision and strategy, and define success or failure for you. They also influence how you are perceived by others. For example, if you value being honest with people, this will shape the way you interact with them (e.g. ‘I always tell the truth’, ‘I don’t lie’). It may also influence how much trust they place in you as a leader (e.g. ‘This person seems trustworthy because he/she always tells me what’s really going on’).

How do you define your values?

With these seven reasons why values are important for leaders, it is even more important to define your own values. Values can be defined in three steps:

  1. Observe yourself: Understand how you value things or behaviors, and when you might be disappointed or disgusted. 
  2. Derive your values
  3. Prioritize your values 

You can watch our video on “Why are values important for leaders?” below:

In the next article, we will present some exercises to help you find your own values and use them to develop your own leadership WHY.

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See you next Sunday!

Your Amaze Growth Team

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