What are the qualities of a leader? Courage, solid values, rock solid integrity. These are just some of the standout values profiled in men and women who rise to the challenge of leading community organizations, schools, churches, companies, and even nations.
If you want to really know who someone is, study his or her words and actions. Our behavior is governed by our values. Our values are the principles around which we live our daily life. They might include integrity, freedom, persistence, learning, and compassion. They are personal to us. We each have our own set of values which influence who we are and what we do.
Leaders have solid values. We can see them clearly manifested in everything they do. Their strong inner core is fashioned of their values, from which their thoughts and actions flow. Through good times and bad, they are unwavering. No matter what, they never allow others to influence, sway, or derail them from their strong inner belief system.
When we live aligned to our values, we feel good about ourselves. Our self-esteem is healthy and robust, and no matter what challenges life presents to us, we always have our solid base of values from which to take action. When we’re not aligned with our values, we feel conflicted. Things don’t feel right. We do things not because they are right for us, but because we fall victim to “fast talkers,” people who make promises about things they don’t intend to do, and false prophets which are proliferating in today’s society.
What are your most important values? How are your values reflected in your thoughts and actions? Describe how they manifest in your daily life. Where might your daily actions be conflicting with who you truly are? And, most importantly, if you’re not living aligned to your values, why?
“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” — Stephen R. Covey
Tara Kachaturoff is the creator, producer and host of Michigan Entrepreneur TV, a weekly television talk show featuring business leaders and businesses from start-up to stellar. With over 15 years of experience in corporate finance in the tech sector, she now coaches executives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs on leadership, management, productivity, and marketing issues. Tara is also the author of 21 Qualities of a Leader from which this article is excerpted.