Just as with corporate values, the real test for your personal leadership brand comes during moments of pressure and stress. Do you abandon your values, telling yourself that you’ll come back to them when things settle down? Or do they matter even more in those moments. What are the three values that are most important to you as a leader and a colleague—that is, the consistent behaviours that everyone can rely on from you?
It’s important being predictable and reliable as a leader. If you can clearly articulate how you would act in a given situation, people don’t have that burden of always thinking, ‘I wonder what he or she would do.’ As, it’s pretty clear.
At Engine Room we believe that everyone in the business should strive to be 20% better. As people can start thinking ‘I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, that’s okay’ – but the world has become dramatically more challenging. You’ve got to master [new things] … that you have never done before.
• What are the three values that are most important to you as a leader and a colleague—that is, the consistent behaviours that everyone can rely on from you?
• How have you lived those values in your career?
• Why are they important to you for driving success?
• If you were recruiting someone to join your team, what would you say to them about your leadership style?
Imagine yourself taking over a new team of direct reports who ask you a series of questions in your first meeting with them: “What are your personal leadership values? Why are they important to you? What do they look like in practice? Where did they come from?”
When people talk about leaders they admire, they’re often described as “authentic.” In the context of leadership, that means trustworthy, reliable, genuine, and having a sense that what you see is what you get. If you’re lucky enough to work for an authentic leader, you won’t have to spend energy wondering which version of the boss is going to show up on a given day, depending on either their mood or the stresses they are facing.
That type of consistency should be the goal of all those aiming to be great leaders. So, do you understand who you are as a leader?
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