Create a Personal Values Statement to Soar Your Leadership Development
Witnessing an eagle steadfastly flying towards it’s destination, despite facing a strong wind, reminded me of an important leadership development lesson.
Clarity on your core values enables you to steadily soar, even when the winds of change relentlessly try to blow you off course.
Have you been blown off course recently?
My husband, Gordon and I, enjoy exploring both North Dakota and America on our motorcycle. Prior to each trip, he searches for the most amazing roads. I’m thinking about where we’ll have the best chance of seeing eagles.
On one of our trips to the Rockies, we were captivated by the sight of a lone eagle, making his way despite a strong headwind. The wind didn’t bother that eagle one bit. He was strong and kept flying towards his destination.
Don’t you wish that you had this kind of grit and determination soar, to reach your goals, despite many challenges blowing your way?
Let’s be real – We’re all facing strong headwinds in our leadership development journey, aren’t we? We’re living in times of rapid disruption and change. It’s unsettling. A recent survey indicated that 2/3rd of adults in the USA are feeling the fear. Anti-depressants and anxiety-reducing prescriptions are at an all-time high. One leader recently confessed that his team seemed “brittle” – ready to break at any time. At their core, people feel like something is wrong – but, they can’t quite put a finger on it.
And, they are hungry for a leader.
I’m certain that you’ve discovered when I’ve discovered….not all leaders are wise and worth following!
That’s the challenge, isn’t it?
To be a wise leader that is indeed worth following!
That’s the reason I encourage you to do the introspective and reflective work on identifying your Core Values.
What is the Leadership Development Benefits of Discovering your Core Values?
Clarity on your Core Values will:
- Guide your decisions. When we know our values, we base decisions on our own internal compasses and not on external pressures.
- Increase your confidence. With clear values in place, it’s easier to find the courage and confidence to make and stick to wiser choices.
- Improve your emotional stamina. When we meet challenges, values assist us to build hope-filled resilience to stay on the right path.
- Expand your options: When you’re clear on your values, you are confident to consider a variety of options to overcome your challenges.
Plus, clarity fuel’s your ability to creatively and strategically answer the question, “What might I do to make a positive impact?”
2 Steps to Strengthen Your Values and Leadership Development Impact
Here are a couple of steps I’ve taken, which may be helpful for you also.
Play the Values Tournament Game
Write down all the words or phrases that describe the values you hold dear. Here are a few examples:
- Strive toward self-improvement
- Treat all people with respect
- Display personal integrity – at all times
- Do the right thing even when nobody is looking
- Acknowledge strengths, but stay humble
I also go the extra mile and add a short definition of what the value means to me. For example, one of my values is “Futuristic.” Here is my personalized definition: We collaborate with visionary, strategic leaders who intentionally invest in high-potential future leaders.
Another one is “Character” – Excellence is based on strong spiritual and moral character. Our “being” impacts the “doing.”
Learn from the eagle – nurture the values that build your capacity to soar. No wind will be strong enough to steer you off-course.
Question to consider: How are the values that I embrace playing out in my daily life?
2. Create a Values Review Rhythm
Now that you have defined your core values, how do you ensure that you are living them? As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”
You won’t change your values every week, but there may be times when it’s necessary to review them. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- I add my values list to the top of my weekly planning worksheet. I review them to ensure that I am still living on track with my values. Every week, I give myself a thumbs up or thumbs down on how I did the previous week. Then, I think through how I can embody my values in upcoming situations, especially difficult interactions. For me, a Sunday night works best, but pick a time that is practical for you. Maybe you need an energy booster on a Monday morning before you start your workweek.
- External forces might distract us and cause us to lose focus. Take a time-out from what you do and review your values to remind you of who you are.
- A series of negative events or a prolonged period of high stress can make all of us question our purpose and the meaning of our lives. Reviewing your values keeps you firmly grounded and rooted in who you are.
Questions to consider: How did I live my values today/this week? Where did I mess up? How might I get back on track?
The eagle’s ability to overcome adversity, always reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures “…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Maybe you don’t take motorcycle trips like Gordon and I. However, you are on a continuous leadership development journey.
In these chaotic times, you may be experiencing a shaking of your core values. As you gain more clarity on who you are, your confidence and courage will grow. Your Core Values embodies the foundation that defines your character. Like the eagle, you will be able to face even a gale-force wind that brings with it a myriad of threats and challenges.
I invite you to work on your Core Values Statement today – and make a positive impact on others and expand your leadership influence.
In the final article in this series, you will learn how to activate your Virtues Statement so that you inspire character-based leadership development.
Leadership Development Lesson: Commit to writing a Personal Values Statement that you can live out in all aspects of your life and stay the course, finishing well.
Leadership Development Question: What values do you embody that invite others to trust you enough to follow you?
Here are the links to all the articles in this series:
- How Eagle-Eye Vision, Values and Virtues Improve your Leadership Development Initiatives
- How an Eagle-Eye Vision Statement Strengthens your Personal Leadership Development
- Create a Personal Values Statement to Soar Your Leadership Development
- How to Utilize Virtues to Expand Your Leadership Development Efforts