Core Leadership Values of Successful Leaders

Understanding the core leadership values is crucial if you want to identify and improve your leadership style. These values are your guiding principles and reflect what you believe is important and worthwhile. As a matter of fact, the decisions we make every day are a reflection of our values.  

Read on to learn and understand the core leadership values, why they are important, and how these core leadership values can help you become an effective and successful leader.  First, let us understand what core leadership values are.

What are core leadership values?

Core leadership values are the principles and beliefs that guide a person in taking action and conducting decision-making that helps shape their careers. This set of values also significantly impacts an organization and the lives of other people as it contributes to a larger good. If you want to be an effective leader, then you must identify and improve your leadership values. Although some of these core leadership values tend to be innate, these core leadership values can still be learned, developed, and practiced. 

Why are leadership values important?

You have to make a lot of decisions as a leader, and every decision you make has an impact on you and the people following your lead. Leadership values make you an influential person because it strengthens your ability to persuade and influence people.

Your core leadership values will guide you in making decisions and how you can effectively execute leadership in your organization. Having a strong set of core leadership values makes you valuable in an organization and helps build respect and trust among your team. Demonstrating your values affects the performance of your organization. 

Core leadership values

Here is a list of core leadership values:

1. Influence

Great leaders lead by influence instead of authority. Autocratic management style means the leaders follow a top-down approach and don’t ask for employees’ feedback. This is an ineffective management style as it results in poor performance and fear towards management.

An effective leader moves followers into action through influence. Using influence instead of authority is more effective as it motivates employees to be and stay committed. It develops trust, respect, credibility and builds a strong connection. 

To influence is to inspire, persuade, and encourage to work toward the achievement of a common goal. Here are some ways you can increase and strengthen your ability to influence others.

  • Make people feel important.
  • Show people that you trust them.
  • Motivate and empower people.
  • Respect others’ opinions.
  • Praise people sincerely.
  • Be kind and show sympathy
  • Use positive body language.
  • Use persuasive language

2. Respect

Leaders must demonstrate self-respect and treat others with dignity regardless of differences. When you show respect, you will also earn respect from people. Outstanding leadership creates a climate of respect, an environment that sets high standards and supports everyone who is doing their best.

Successful leaders who are already demonstrating a positive impact in their organization have a common behavioral trait. They demonstrate respect to others in many ways including, respecting their opinions, values, beliefs, gender, and ideas. 

These leaders actively listen to understand someone, making them feel heard and understood. They are also trustworthy and have the courage to do the right things, even if it is not easy. Most importantly, they recognize that employees are people too and that they have feelings and basic needs that must be met in order to increase their performance at work.  

3. Courage

Having the courage to take a stand in the face of adversity is one of the core leadership values of successful leaders. Courageous leaders are not afraid to take risks in making decisions. They inspire their team with their boldness and principles. Without courage, you can’t make a difference. 

Courageous leaders build a successful and great company. They are capable of guiding their team and transforming challenges into opportunities for positive change. Also, these leaders are living with their values, speaking their truth, and standing up for what they truly believe in. When leaders lack courage in their own convictions, they end up demotivating their team. When you act with courage as a leader in reaching goals, people will also gravitate towards that.

4. Integrity

Leaders with integrity are reliable, trustworthy, and honest. They practice what they preach, own up to their mistakes, and do not make excuses. Also, they tend to keep their promises and follow through on them without fail. Integrity is integral as leaders are being judged on character. People will not follow someone unless that person or leader has established trust with them. 

Integrity serves several benefits not only to the leader but to the organization as well. If the leader demonstrates high integrity, employees display more positive behaviors in the workplace. Employees work harder, perform better, and develop company loyalty because they trust their leader.

Improve your integrity as a leader by building a good reputation, consistently acting with integrity, taking responsibility for your actions, and working morally, ethically, and diligently.

5. Dedication

A leader is always dedicated to what they do. Dedication makes them commit to completing a specific task. They understand that there will be obstacles and they are prepared to overcome those rather than giving up. They show determination and discipline to work towards their vision. Employees will also respond more if you are a leader of passion and dedication. 

Dedication allows the entire team to work together and remain inspired. If you are not dedicated as a leader, you won’t have the energy to dedicate yourself to your followers.  By setting an excellent example, you can show your followers that your team has the opportunity to achieve something great.

6. Empathy

Being an empathic leader allows you to understand the root cause behind an employee’s poor performance and help them excel in their performance. Empathy means that you understand someone else’s feelings from their perspective by putting yourself in their shoes. This builds and develops relationships with those they lead.

When you understand your employees’ needs, you can provide the support they require to deal with challenges that are holding them back in achieving a goal. This also helps strengthen your relationship with your employees and build a sense of trust leading to greater collaboration and improved productivity.

7. Vision

A vision provides a sense of purpose and direction. This will help you define your short and long-term goals. Visionary leaders act with passion in motivating and inspiring people to keep going towards a common goal. As a result, each team member contributes to the organization’s forward momentum. They engage their people with a compelling and tangible vision. 

When a leader has a powerful vision and walks their talk, employees flock to it and drive employee performance. Employees often join an organization with a clear vision because it clearly sets organizational direction and purpose. It inspires them and makes them more committed, and challenges them to stretch their abilities.  

8. Communication

Effective communication is the most powerful skill a leader should possess to inspire positive change. Leaders are skilled communicators. They have the ability to think with clarity, express their ideas, and share information with a great number of audiences using different communication styles. Although a leader may have a clear vision, he may not be able to align it if he doesn’t know how to communicate it.

Communication is not just about delivering a message but getting the message out and understood to the right receiver. Being able to communicate effectively to people helps your tasks to become more fluid and ensure that everything is moving forward. This leads to greater productivity and understanding of goals.

9. Empowerment 

Leaders are in a position of power. But instead of trying to take full control of your power by controlling people, an effective leader empowers others. A good example of an ineffective leader is one who is fond of micromanaging. This is characterized by excessively controlling your subordinates. It is suffocating, and your subordinates will tend to doubt their abilities. By empowering others through delegation and mentorship, you will create a stronger team and inspire them to be leaders as well.

10. Resilience

A resilient leader has the ability to sustain composure under pressure. They see failure as a temporary setback that they can overcome. This is because they are able to cope with disruptive changes and adapt to stressful situations. They find ways to move forward to avoid getting stuck and maintain a positive attitude during a period of turbulence.  

Learn how to develop their leadership skills with The Ultimate Guide to Developing Your Leadership Skills

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