There is a game that my family enjoys playing. It is wooden blocks stacked upon each other to form a tower. When it is your turn, you choose one block and try to remove it from the tower. The goal of the game is to remove your chosen block without touching any other blocks and/or not having the stack fall apart on your turn. Playing this game requires planning, concentration, a steady hand, and a little luck.
We quickly learned that when setting the game up it is very important to stack the blocks as straight, and as tightly together as possible. This led to longer and more challenging play. When the blocks were stacked haphazardly, and the foundation skewed the tower would quickly fall apart. Sadly, the game ended quickly and was not as enjoyable.
This game comes to mind when I think about the importance of values in our lives. The creation of the tower is the discovering and understanding of our values and their importance to us. This determines how our lives play out, how rewarding the process is; personally, in our relationships, in our work, and in our connections with the greater community. Our values motivate us and guide our decisions. Our values influence how we react in difficult situations and respond to issues that arise. Which is key to rising above in the challenges that we face in current times. I find that my values are the ‘why’ for my dreams and what I am hoping to accomplish.
Values-Based Leadership encompasses this. It is a leadership style that utilizes the values of the leader, the groups/teams, and the organization. Values-Based Leaders use their values as a compass to guide them, strengthening their foundation and building a strong tower. When leaders have a strong understanding of their values, they are confident on when to lead, and when to follow. Values-Based leaders tend to be more secure in who they are, emotionally intelligent, and are empathetic. Leaders who embrace this style are authentic, humble, more self-confident and a positive influence with the people they meet and work with. I share this information in the hopes that you either identify with them or actively are working towards embracing them.
What are your values? How have you adopted them in building a strong foundation in your work and personal life? Once you have discovered your values, I encourage you to take some time and think back on specific moments in your life and how your values guided the direction and outcome. It is through reflections like these that we can truly embrace the importance of values in our life.