It’s tough to live a life of consciously-chosen values because there is relentless, seductive pressure to alter your beliefs.
Anybody who has a role for you — as consumer, constituent or manager — stands to profit from you not having a sure sense of self. After all, when you’re not on your own agenda, you’re prey to the agenda of others. It takes just a little more work to list your personal values, why they are important to you, and which ones really matter the most but it’s important to do so.
2. Get support from your people
If your employees know what your values are and care about them, then you can live them. If they don’t, you won’t. Translate your values — the meaning of family, integrity, adventure, creativity, spirituality, and health or whatever your values are — into the promise of better working conditions for your employees. If they want those conditions, they’ll protect your values to help make them happen.
3. Take responsibility
Leadership doesn’t come with a job title — and you can’t order it on the Internet and can’t just wait for it to happen to you. Leadership happens when you understand your values and understand how to enroll others in supporting them. It’s your responsibility to assume an active role in forming your values and then evangelize them to your employees.
The irreducible essence of leadership is living your deepest personal values every day at work and at home without compromise. Leaders use those values to make life better for their employees. This is why people become leaders and why people follow them.