Character: Your Guiding Light

A great leader not only knows what his or her values are, they allow those values to guide every decision. There are seven core values listed here, of which I subscribe with all my strength:

1. Honesty.  We deal with one another in a straight-forward manner. 

Honesty is the key building block of trust. In terms of leadership, being honest boils down to being sincere and forthright to everyone. Ask, “What if I’m not totally honest and my team finds out?”

2. Integrity. We act in a manner consistent with our words and beliefs. 

You can’t just give lip service to your principles, morals, and values; you have to live them every day. Leaders don’t just preach good character, they embody it.

3. Respect. We treat others with care and consideration. 

You want respect, and so does everyone else, so think about what it means to you and you’ll understand how to give it to others. Treat people with care and consideration and they’ll go the extra mile. Treat them with disrespect and they’ll undermine you at every opportunity.

4. Courage. We pursue beliefs with strength and perseverance. 

Having the courage to tell the truth may not make you popular, but it pays off in respect.  More importantly, it pays off in self-respect.

5. Openness. We share information freely. 

When you ensure that everyone has access to information, you send the message that everyone is important and you want each person to participate. You must set an example of openness if you expect to be trusted. Not trust = no credibility.  No credibility = no influence. If you don’t have influence, you’ll be a leader in title only.

6. Diversity.  We seek, value, and respect differences among our teammates. 

RAVE–respect, appreciate, and value everyone. The great goal is complete and total inclusiveness, nothing less.

7. Balance. We strive for stability and vitality in our lives. 

People with balanced lives do the best work. You should be happy at home and happy at work, and healthy in body and mind, because that’s what makes organizations strong.

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