A great philosopher once said, "some people are put into our lives as an example of what we should do while others are placed there as an example of what we SHOULD NOT do!" Sadly our most recent Presidential race was filled with examples of the latter. During my travels a common theme I heard during and after the race was,“well that was ugly, or rude, or shady etc." Irrespective of which candidate one voted for or against, the race was filled with examples of what NOT to do as leaders. As the President Elect prepares to take over the oval office, many pundits continue to dissect and evaluate the outcomes of the race from every conceivable angle. However, what can we as Values Based Leaders of business, communities, religious institutions, non-profits, and even families learn to avoid that we saw in the presidential race? What leadership lessons and core values should be implemented to ensure that those whom we lead, do so, with a high degree of purpose, trust & enthusiasm? Below are 6 key values that will increase their satisfaction, loyalty, and career success and establish your legacy as a Values Based Leader.
Values Based Leaders are Honest and Transparent
The candidates kept the fact checkers very busy with countless half-truths, fabrications, and even outright lies. Values Based Leaders are a transparent and honest when it comes to the message or dealing with the messengers.
Values Based Leaders aren’t kept awake at night with worries of their team, stakeholders, customers or competitors finding out that past messaging, product deliverables or stated promises were inaccurate. They are transparent in all that they do and say.
Values Based Leaders are Humble & Kind
Values Based Leaders know that all of us is always better than one of us. They know too, humility encourages an environment where mistakes and setbacks are viewed as part of the progressive direction in the creation and sustainability of productive cultures, ideas, processes, and increasing profitable returns.
A great football player was once asked, why do you always help your opponent up from the turf after you’ve tacked him? The star player said of his opponent, “because. I want him to see who it was that knocked him off his feet! Plus it’s just the right thing to do”. Too many leaders today confuse being kind with being weak. Values Based Leaders are tough-minded, mission focused but never at the expense of demeaning others (employees, competitors, and even their critics) or guilty of always putting themselves first.
Values Based Leaders are Respectful and Practice Empathy
There is a Kenny Chesney song with the famous line - it got a little crazy last night. This past election got a little crazy as well. The name calling, intended sarcastic slights and threats among the candidates seemed to be at an all-time high (or low depending on one's perspective).
Values Based Leaders are tasked with so many tactical, strategic responsibilities that respect for others can get pushed off their leadership radar. Empathy takes time but the dividends that are paid back to an organization in terms of employee retention, customer satisfaction, brand reputation and profitability make empathy a must-have for the Values-Based Leader.
Values Based Leaders Have a Mission AND a Plan
Too often during the presidential race, we heard a candidate tell us what he/she was going to do but not enough was said about HOW they were going to do it.
Values Based Leaders have a mission that is bigger than a single individual. More importantly, they build processes and communication around the mission and through tools such as Growth Engine Management (GEM), they provide ongoing feedback and status updates. Values Based Leaders are committed to communicating the mission, the plan and the current status in a consistent manner so that every associate and every employee can achieve the goals and objectives of the mission with purpose, passion and conviction.
Values Based Leaders Lead with Character
On the stage, in front of the crowds of supporters, the candidates said all the right things, keeping the crowd engaged and entertained, with the ultimate goal of receiving the votes of the attendees. Promises were made by various candidates during these rallies and speeches that had a slim to zero chance of becoming a reality.
Values Based Leaders would rather be known as a person of character, than a person who is a character. They practice what they preach and expect that others will do the right things, the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons – even when no one else is watching.
Values Based Leaders Speak without Malice
Was it just me or was there a ton of loud and angry verbosity during this election season? More than once as I listened to the candidates scream and insult one another I was reminded of a question I once heard someone ask during a debate with an angry individual – If you speak LOUDER than me does that make me right?
Values Based Leaders don’t feel the need to scream their message in a loud or angry tone. Rather they choose to deliver their message with passion versus emotion and they place more value on living their message by their actions and deeds followed by their words, rather than the volume of the message. Values Based Leaders avoid speaking in a malicious way about their competitors, doubters or critics. More importantly, they let the love of their company, their employees, customers, products, and the mission speak louder than even the words they profess.
In less than two months we will officially have a new President in the Oval office who will have 4 years to fulfill his promises, implement change and run this country. While most well-run organizations have a 4-year plan of some sort, most want to see progress, goal achievement and customers delighted immediately. Values Based Leaders know that these six leadership lessons are important keys to increasing customer retention, maximizing customer lifetime values, improving employee loyalty, while achieving mamarket-leading profitability for the long and short term.