Last Updated on February 14, 2019 by Dave Schoenbeck
Every business is governed by a set of leadership values, consciously or not. They define your company culture, determine what makes a good employee, and ultimately provide a set of guidelines for achieving success in your niche.
Many businesses don’t define their inherent leadership values to help them cultivate a meaningful, true north for their organization.
Determining the leadership values that are most important to you and your business is crucial for planning your long-term goals, both for your products and services and for the people you hire. The first step? Writing it all down.
Discovering Your Leadership Core Values
What are the leadership values you prioritize in your business? It’s not enough to think about them: in this step, we’re going to make a written list. How do you feel about leadership values like loyalty, attitude, reputation, integrity, or personal responsibility? Which of these values comes into play most often in your business?
Not many people would say they’re ambivalent about honesty, for example, but it’s not about listing off every positive value you can think of. Instead, it’s about determining what values are most important to you and which ones will most benefit your business.
A competitive sales environment might value assertiveness and productivity while a handmade crafting business might favor customer relations. It’s not that specific leadership values are better than others, it’s just that different companies and business owners will have different priorities.
Write a list of all the values that are important to you as a business owner, then rank them regarding most to least important. This will tell you a lot about what you need to prioritize in your organization. Know that your list may change as your business evolves, but getting your leadership values on paper is the first step towards nurturing them throughout your organization.
Your Business Leadership Values List
When you understand what you believe in, you can communicate how you want your team to act. First of all, make sure your values are well-known amongst your teammates. Put them in the handbook, hang signs in the breakroom, and include a values rundown as a part of the onboarding process to be sure everyone is on the same page.
It’s important to be consistent in the enforcement of your leadership values. If you say you value honesty, for instance, but balk at constructive criticism, employees will soon learn that they can’t trust the company values or, for that matter, you as a leader. Be prepared for all outcomes before making your company values clear to everyone.
Most importantly, though, you need to make sure you’re hiring managers who embody your company values through and through. Poor management is one of the top reasons employees leave a company, and the behavior your managers model in the workplace is what the employees will mirror back to them.
Defining business leadership values is a topic near and dear to my heart. If you’re struggling, click on my contact form for a complimentary coaching video call to discuss how you can create the catalyst for teaching your leadership values.