To lead your team with character and integrity, you must set an example. Your team looks to you. To begin, you must know your own values as well as your organization’s values.
For example, the global technology giant 3M is well-known for its company values. Why? Because the entire team – from top executives all the way down to the mailroom – live and breathe the principles of honesty and integrity every day. 3M communicates clearly that it wants its staff to keep promises, have personal accountability, and respect others in the workforce. Every leader in the company knows this, so they work by these rules. Hopefully, your company has clear rules about how it wants team members to act. As a leader, it’s up to you to know these rules and codes of conduct – and to make sure you live them.
Your personal values are also important. Good leaders follow their personal values as well as organizational values.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What standards of behavior are really important to me, to my company?
- What specific values do I admire in certain leaders? Do I identify with those values?
- Would I still live by those values, even if they put me at a competitive disadvantage?
At times, you’ll make a decision but still wonder if you did the right thing. You may be uncomfortable, but these situations can teach you to trust yourself and your instincts. If you calm your anxiety and look logically at the situation, your instincts will often guide you in the right direction.
Ethical living – and leading – takes courage and conviction. It means doing the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t popular or easy. But when you make decisions based on your core values, then you tell the world that you can’t be bought – and you lead your team by example.
Once you identify your company’s core values as well as your own, you can start to set the tone with your team and your organization. Actions always speak louder than words, so make sure you do as you would wish others to do.
Until next time, Examine the values and do the right thing,