5 Leadership Values That Contribute to Long-Term Success
A good leader isn’t defined by a strict set of universal guidelines. There are different management styles and tactics out there, and every leader acts on their own personal values and goals.
However, we’ve worked with many leaders from around the country, and we can say there are some core values that every strong leader holds dear. These are the guiding principles that establish greatness – the values that encourage others to follow and believe in a cause.
Let’s take a close look to understand why these values are so crucial to successful, long-lasting leadership.
This one sounds like a bit of a cliche, but there’s a reason so many people harp on truly believing in and caring for your business. Passion is like fuel for a growing company or project, and if it’s not alive in the leaders, then it’s certainly not in the employees.
Sadly, only about 20 percent of Americans report that they are very passionate about their jobs. Passion is difficult to embody and encourage in others, primarily because it cannot be faked.
If you’re not passionate about your leadership style, or if you’re faking passion while secretly harboring doubt and disinterest, your employees will lack the fire needed to propel your vision forward.
Take a moment to evaluate your current strategies as a C-suite member, manager, or another type of leader. How are you showcasing your passion? What could you do to be more authentic in your excitement and focus?
You’ll find that channeling the right amount of energy and attitude into any project will vastly impact the overall workplace culture. However, if you’re not sure what passion means for you or how it translates into your place of business, you may want to consider brainstorming some ideas with a leadership coach.
As Roger Connors, CEO of Partners In Leadership, said, “There’s a crisis of accountability in organizations today… a crisis of epidemic proportions.”
In his organization’s study (which included more than 40,000 participants), 84 percent of employees cited leader behavior as the single most crucial factor influencing accountability in their organization. And yet – accountability continues to be an incredibly difficult value for many to hold onto.
When a leader makes a mistake or assigns a duty to someone else, employees want to know they still hold themselves accountable for their actions. Accountability isn’t just about taking responsibility, though – it’s about taking pride and confidence in the work that’s done.
As a leader, you need to be accountable for the good, the bad, the successes, and the failures. Doing so will encourage your followers to do the same, both in their work and in the company’s overall success.
Unfortunately, accountability is difficult to cultivate in ourselves, especially as we climb higher within our organizations. It becomes easier to distance yourself from small projects, mistakes, and struggles.
If you feel distant or disconnected from what’s happening in your company, seek out executive and leadership coaching that specifically targets accountability. Trust us: your team will notice when you start to work on this quality.
Roughly 3 out of every 4 employees consider effective, transparent communication to be the most important characteristic that any leader should have – and we have to agree that it’s incredibly important.
It’s easy to say that communication is important, but we’re talking about something more than that. Employees want to work under a leader who values honesty, both in their public announcements and personal, one-on-one conversations.
No matter how good you are at lying or sugarcoating hard truths, your employees will see through facades eventually. A strong leader knows being transparent in all aspects of their work encourages more trust in their employees and more openness within the entire organization.
Of course, there are boundaries when it comes to workplace transparency. Some things are best kept confidential, while others should be shared for the benefit of all. So how do you know when to be blunt and honest and when to stay quiet?
It’s a learned skill – and one you’ll need to intentionally cultivate through deep thought, leadership training, and conversations with others.
In today’s chaotic and strange times, it’s never been more important to instill faith in your employees. They must view you as a resilient leader – one that will not only celebrate successes but also withstand hardships to come and prepare for the worst-case scenario.
In their 2021 Resilience Report, Deloitte found that 60 percent of C-level executives believe today’s leaders should have crisis preparedness to ensure an organization’s survival of any eventuality. It’s not just about being ready for the next thing, but also about letting your employees know that you’re ready.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and a fluctuating economy, this is one of the top leadership challenges of the modern era.
When the unexpected happens, or things take a turn for the worst, do your employees feel secure that you (and the organization as a whole) will bounce back? Because they should if you want to succeed.
However, that’s easier said than done when so many leaders are worried, themselves. Now’s the time to take a step back and look at your attitude toward current and upcoming concerns.
Are you showcasing your preparedness and positivity to closely watching followers?
Last on our list is a value that we often associate in one direction – and yet, respect is crucial to strong, effective leadership.
Respect changes the way you approach everything, from employee disagreements and workplace tensions to giving credit where credit is due. A good leader listens and cares about every point of view, whether from the lowest ranking employee or the highest-ranking C-suite member.
This is especially true when it comes to risk issues such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Are you setting an example of respect for each and every employee? When you see disrespect in action, are you putting a stop to it in front of others?
According to Edelman’s research, 86 percent of people expect business leaders to lead them on societal problems that affect them – more than public leaders.
When someone is discriminated against, they want to know their leader will respect their complaint and make a change if appropriate. When someone is harassed because of their gender, age, ethnicity, or any other protected classification, they need to know that their leader doesn’t stand for such blatant disrespect.
Within your organization, you set the tone for respect between employees of all kinds. What kind of tone are you setting, and can you do better?
Need Help? Learn to Cultivate and Live Your Values
It takes time to hone your skills and strengths as a leader, as well as your values. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your position or simply want to become a better role model within your organization, reach out to Strategy People Culture today.
Our coaching firm helps executives identify and live their core values and learn tried-and-true leadership strategies. If you’re interested in setting up a personal consultation, or if you want to learn more about our group training sessions, call 833 ROCK SPC.
You can also send us a message online. We look forward to helping you grow as a leader, executive, and team member.