Maintaining Personal Values
You are only given one name in life. Your name reflects who you are as a person. For a leader, your name becomes a reflection of who the organization is as well. You create the values and culture for the organization. How can you instill these values and culture into an organization to reflect who you are?
- Set an example in everything you do that displays the values you want the organization to portray.
This sounds simple, but there will be times when your values will be tested. You may have to take actions that upset others. For example you may be told by superiors to take an action that goes against the best interests of the organization, its people, and your values. Going against these directions may put your job at risk.
- Treat those who are in your organization as if they were your family.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have high expectations for others. It doesn’t mean that you can be critical when performance isn’t up to the level you expect. It does mean that you approach decisions as you would in your family. You consult with others, you think of personal consequences of your decision, you are fair to everyone, and you are open in what you decide to do.
- Focus on culture as a part of every action you take.Creating an organizational culture is a never ending process. It requires that you be visible throughout the organization. It requires that you speak of the culture you want to create at every opportunity. It requires that you take actions when you see others going against the culture you want to create.
- Ask questions that reflect on your personal values
Whenever an analysis is done and recommendations are being made, follow up the business questions with ones that have a value focus. Typical questions might include:
– How do we communicate this to others?
– Are these recommendations fair to everyone?
– How can we get others engaged with the implementation?
- Become a values coach
Values need to be developed just like any other personal trait. When you meet with others, discuss the values that are relevant to the topic you are discussing. These continual discussions of values can be very impactful in shaping the culture of the organization.
As time passes, you will move from one organization to another. Think about what you will leave behind. The best thing you can leave are the values memories that others have of you.