In the month of forecasts and resolutions, it is easy to be inundated with advice on just about everything. While I am always one for lists and ideas, I’ll keep things simple over the next few posts by offering some fundamentals that every leader should consider this year.

Part 1: Know Thyself – What Drives You as a Leader?

This first topic revolves around you, the Leader.

What is most important to you as a leader? What pushes your buttons or makes you soar? Why do you respond to situations and people in the way that you do?

Most leaders neither have nor take the time to identify what drives them. While many experts rightly talk about purpose, mission and the why, leaders need to go deeper to tap into what truly makes them tick. We often forget that our whole person really does show up at the office, even if we are the greatest strategists or technical experts.

This is where values come in.

Richard Barrett, author of the Values-Driven Organization, stated “it is becoming increasingly clear, that to succeed in the twenty-first century individually as a professional, or collectively as an organization, you need to differentiate yourself not by what you do, but by who you are and how you do what you do”.

Identify and understand your values and you’ll not only understand yourself and what you stand for, you can also clarify and foster the related values within your teams. To get going, look no further than the free Personal Values Assessment offered in multiple languages by the Barrett Values Centre. You take a short test to identify your top values, and a brief report is generated to help you connect what those values mean to your daily life, whether at home or at the office.

But what about going further? If you want to take this into the business realm in more depth, options abound. Whether for yourself, your team or your organization, a wide variety of values assessment reports are available. The best ones are those offering a structured process and measurable results, which can be analyzed and discussed during individual coaching sessions or group team-building workshops.

As we at ComMundi Group are Barrett CTT certified, here is a short video explaining how our particular process works:

Regardless of how you identify your values, the important takeaway is that values drive behavior because they reflect what is most important to us — for example, integrity, trust or making a difference. In the case of leaders, values help reveal each person’s unique leadership presence.

Get that sorted out and you will be more self-aware and better equipped to manage your responses to the world around you. At work, increased self-awareness and tools to self-manage translate into improved leadership skills, thus higher engagement levels, healthier workplace cultures and increased productivity across the board. Ask yourself this: How much more effective would you and your teams be if you could live and communicate your values to your internal and external stakeholders with conviction, authenticity and transparency?

In 2019 – in the world of #metoo, mental health in the workplace, ethical investing and the increasingly critical role of leaders in providing safe spaces for employees and clients, how can values not form part of your leadership presence?

Let’s make 2019 the values year: the key to unlocking who you are, what you do, and how you do it.

Elizabeth Cordeau-Chatelain

Elizabeth has 34+ years of communications and stakeholder relations experience in global business environments, leading teams across Canada and spanning 40+ countries.