If you’ve ever stepped into an entrepreneurial leadership role, you know that navigating the landscape comes with plenty of complex challenges. With endless important decisions to make, identifying and sticking to the right path can be a complicated thing. What defines the right path, anyway? When it comes to finding success, our guiding light often lies within us – the core values that resonate with our journey and shape who we are. These principles can help us carefully choose our actions, reactions, and ultimately, our leadership style. Taking an introspective approach to understanding our leadership DNA isn’t simple an act of self-discovery – it’s an uncovering of the very essence of why we find motivation to lead. Ready to identify your own? Read on for some tips on the vital process of decoding your core values.
Start With Self Reflection and Thankfulness
Though sometimes quiet and subtle, gratitude is a remarkable value that can completely shift your mindset. As you consider your leadership values, reflect on those moments that brought you a sense of profound gratitude. Did it involve your team? A successful project? Overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge? Identifying and expressing these situations and memories can open doors to better communication, increased positivity, and a more harmonious workplace. Creating this world begins with you – and it’s in the simple things. If you’re guided by gratitude, make it a point to express it in abundance – from a simple thank you note to a colleague to a daily practice of journaling – or even taking a thankful moment of silence to yourself in acknowledgement of a completed project. You’ll notice that working in accordance with this value can create a world of difference.
Identify Your Ethical Compass
Integrity is a cornerstone of success and leadership – but what does that mean to you? Contemplate your past actions. Were there times you chose to take the high road despite the easier alternative? How did it affect you and those around you? Doing what’s right, even when no one is watching, not only speaks volumes about our character but also sets an example for our colleagues. By placing a core value with your sense of integrity, you can foster respect and trust in a working environment, encouraging your team to always rise to their own personal high ethical standards, too.
Strive for Excellence
How would you define “excellence”? Is it delivering a perfect pitch? Meeting or exceeding a sales target? Or maybe it lies with your team – and seeing your guidance help in the successful completion of a project together. Excellence is a pursuit. It’s an ongoing commitment to making every effort count. Identifying your personal understanding of excellence and striving for it fuels ambition and resilience. When you’re facing a new challenge, you may turn inwards to this value as a guiding force. Show others through your actions that, in your leadership, “good enough” simply isn’t enough. You strive to do your personal best.
This one can be a sort of paradox when considering a leadership perspective. Humility stands as a power that commands respect without demanding attention. In the journey of leadership, there will be failures and setbacks. This is simply the truth – but how you choose to navigate those experiences can make all the difference. It is humility that enables us to learn from these experiences and grow. Think back on these experiences in your own career where you faced challenges and even losses. How did you step back and learn? How did it influence your relationships with your colleagues and your team? Leading with humility is key to crafting a culture where achievements are celebrated, but failures are seen as stepping stones – not roadblocks.
In life, there’s only one constant – change. And in the world of business, change is an unspoken role. The winds of change can affect us in one of two ways. Either it fills our sails, propelling us forward into the future – or it knocks us painfully off course. The key to harnessing the power of change is staying adaptable. Do you consider yourself a leader who puts adaptability first? Think about a time when you faced a major change. Did you view it as a challenge to be overcome – or an opportunity to be utilized? How did your team react to your perspective? Make it a point to inspire your team to experience resilience in the face of change – and turn it into a catalyst for growth.
Translate Your Values into Daily Actions
Each new day in the workplace is a new, fresh opportunity to act on those core values. Don’t think of them as abstract concepts. Instead, consider your identified values as a practical tool to guide your actions and decisions. You could choose to demonstrate gratitude by verbally acknowledging a team member’s excellent work. Embracing humility might involve stepping back and allowing your team to shine where credit is due. Or, being adaptable might mean finally taking that leap towards implementing a new system or workflow – and getting ready to rise to new challenges and chase positive outcomes in the process.
Understand that decoding the DNA of your leadership style is a deeply personal, transformative process. This means working to identify, understand, and live out those core values. When embodied and put into action, they can ignite an effective experience of real leadership.
But also, remember that values – much like leadership – aren’t static. Over time and experience, they will grow and evolve with you. Reflect and remember to nurture your values while you progress in your entrepreneurial leadership roles. In doing so, you create a ripple effect of inspiration that extends beyond you – into your team, your organization, and ultimately, your success story.