Byron's Babbles

Values Define Your Unique Leadership Identity

CoreValuesSlideImageLeaders know what they value. They also recognize the importance of ethical behavior. The best leaders exhibit both their core values and their ethics in their leadership style and actions. Your leadership ethics and values should be visible because you live them in your actions every single day. People know what to expect if leaders have identified and shared their core values, living the values daily – visibly will create trust. To say one sentiment and to do another will damage trust – possibly forever. As Manning (2015) pointed out in The Disciplined Leader it is not only important for leaders of lead according to their values, but the leaders core values must also align with the values of the organization they work for. Our unique leadership identity is made up of our core values. As a leader, choose the values and the ethics that are most important to you, the values and ethics you believe in and that define your character. Then live them visibly every day at work. Living your values is one of the most powerful tools available to you to help you lead and influence others. Don’t waste your best opportunity.disciplined-leader

Bottom line, the role of leadership is to add value to other people and the true measure of leadership is influence, thus a great leader must have the ability to change the attitude or behavior of others. Therefore values must be aligned to key decision making. Organizations must also determined what the core values of that organization will be. We have really been working on this becoming a part of the DNA and culture of the schools I lead. This has to be so much more than just words on a paper. I was so proud this past week when I was meeting with some members of our team to make some decisions and one of them referenced our core value of putting students first. In fact, she said, “You know, this is a pretty easy decision if we truly want to put students first ahead of the adults this decision will affect.” She even pointed to our graphic we are using to represent our vision, mission, and core values. I thought, “Wow, it does not get any better than this! We are truly changing the culture and really using our core values, not just printing them on a page.” We all need to use this example to guide us to use our core values to proactively and consistently guide our personal and organizational decisions.

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Students Are At The Top of Our Core Value Structure!

Many organizations will define their core values, publicly share them as prints in the offices and stores and post them on their website, and just stop here. Eventually, the core values get ignored. Michael Hyatt, the author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, identified 6 ways to communicate the core values to every member of the organization:

  1. Living the values
  2. Teaching the values
  3. Recognizing the values
  4. Hiring new people based on the values
  5. Reviewing people based on the values
  6. Letting people go based on values

In this week’s entry, Manning (2015) also reinforced points 5 & 6. Many CEOs don’t make it because their core values don’t match those of  the organization they lead. My goal for the organization I lead is to clearly communicate and integrate our school’s core values with all the processes and operations of our school. This should result in higher employee engagement and making sound decisions based on our #1 core value of putting students first. This also plays into another important leadership point of making sure that all team members understand his or her role in carrying out the vision, mission, or strategic plan of the organization. Understanding, living, and making decisions based on the core values of the organization goes a long way to making this possible.

“Disciplined Leaders regularly reference their values in critical decision making and rely on them when they are stuck between “a rock and a hard place.” They use them to establish specific direction and get confirmation about those choices they’ve made.” ~ John M. Manning

For me, as a leader I must continue to developed my leadership style around my personality and values, and in the end,  actions are consistent with what I truly believe. As Goethe said: “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”


Hyatt, M. (2012). Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Manning, J. (2015). The disciplined leader: 52 concise, powerful lessons. Oakland, CA: Barrett – Koehler Publishers, Inc.


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