I recently had the opportunity to revisit and redefine my personal leadership values.  Over the years of professional life, my values have changed.  If it has been a while since you contemplated and articulated your own personal leadership values, now is the time.  If you have never defined your leadership values, I think you will find that it is worth the time and will likely recharge your inspiration and energy.

I want to emphasize that I am talking about highly personal leadership values here.   While reading about the leadership values of others, including mine below, can spark contemplation, you cannot really act on the values of others.  Personal leadership values emerge from inside and are based on life experiences, ethics, and an internal compass.  By getting clear on your unique, personalized leadership values, you can better activate them with intention at work.

To spark your contemplation, I would like to share my personal leadership or STAR values that I aspire to embody.

Service:  Going to work with the mindset of “How can I serve my team, colleagues, and customers?” and looking for those opportunities to do so, both big and small.

Trust:  My default approach to others is to trust them and assume positive intent unless proven otherwise.  I trust that my team will accomplish our goals.  I trust that my team is not only competent, but fully capable of excellence.  (Side note: I have noticed that this approach has led to reciprocal trust of me, so that we can work together without fear)

Authenticity:  This can be a bit of a buzzword, but I like it anyway….Authenticity to me means that I can be myself “warts and all” at work.  Years ago, I had a feeling that professional life involved “playing a game” or “wearing a mask” or somehow not revealing the full depth of being human.  The more experience I have had professionally, the more I realize that aside from basic professional decorum and respect (otherwise known as kindness), there is no need to put on a show for anyone.  Being ourselves allows us all to relax a bit, making work less stressful and more fun.  It also builds Trust and inspires Responsibility and Service among very real, human members of the team.

Responsibility:  I take personal responsibility for business success and for my relationships with colleagues.  I own my part not only when things are going well but when things fall apart.  I ask my team to do the same.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my personal leadership values.  I hope you will listen closely to your own conscience and articulate and act on your own.  Make it personal!  Next time you are going to work, remind yourself of your personal leadership values (sort of like a mantra) that you are going to embody and see how it feels – I think you will find it to be energizing.