As a Leader, are your values your driving force?

As a Leader, are your values your driving force?

Blog by Dr Lynne Derman

To develop our own personal Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values statement, we can obtain guidance from some of the leadership gurus out there such as: Stephen Covey, and Kevin Cashman.

The best analogy of determining the Vision, Purpose, Mission and Value statements that I have come across is given by Authentic Education: Click here to read more.

Simply put the Vision is where are you going, what do we want to achieve. It should be lofty, idealistic and inspiring. The Purpose is why are you going there, what do you want to achieve, what motivates you to even be on-board. The Mission is the path, the how you are going to get there. What are the things you are going to do to get to your Vision. Goals become the sign posts along the way. In order for goals to be sustainable, they need to be stepping stones towards achieving the Vision, commitments that bring us closer to our end objective. Progress, achieving goals, will then bring the satisfaction and excitement of achievement as we move closer to the Vision.

But, what about our Values?

First we need to understand the difference between Principles and Values. There is a clear distinction. Principles are universal and time honoured across cultures. They are the lighthouses warning us of dangers along our path e.g. fairness, integrity and honest. Values on the other hand are changeable. They reflect what is critical to us today but can change as we grow and change focus and move along our path. Values are our life-lines that keep us from being washed over-board as the wave washes over the deck. Values therefore must be held as the standard before us, encourage us to strive towards something better, but must also be relevant to our current situation.

As the year rushes ahead and we find ourselves in our daily rush around the slippery deck, let’s remember to check our safety lines, let’s look up and make sure there are no lighthouses signalling danger. In order to that we need to spend time with ourselves in deep reflection. We may not emerge with clarity the first time round but a life-time of reflection as a habit will show the results! 

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