Leadership Lesson 03: Values, Commitment and Culture

Leadership Lesson 03:
It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.  

Roy Disney

Right now I am working with several groups of leaders who are thinking about mission, vision and values. Here is the essential idea:

Values drive commitment and define culture.

First - values drive commitment.
You (and everyone else) need to commit to something that is important. If it is not important to you, you won't be committed. Values are the things or ways that are important to you. When you identify your values, you are more likely to commit to them.

You also need the power to persevere at the difficult times. Values give you the stability and constancy to hold fast to your core, even when (especially when) you are in a time of testing, waiting, struggling, falling back. If you truly believe in your values - you persevere with them.

Second - values define culture.
Mission and vision is not enough to define a culture or ethos. Mission and vision are necessary, but not sufficient. It is clear that different organizations will have very similar, if not identical, missions. Where they begin to differentiate and separate, has to do with their core values.

When a leader know her or his values, the leader will begin to leak, overflow, imprint those values on the people and system around her. When values are known, a leader is now positioned to take every opportunity to "cast" and communicate values.

Third - leaders must always pay attention to whether the values are ideal or actual.
There are ideals I have, but those ideals do not often see a working out in my life and ministry. It is the values that are integrated and implemented that make a difference. Leaders find a way to turn ideals into actualities.. If a leader talks about a value, but does not live it, that value will have little sticky factor.

Finally - values attract the right kind of people.
I have had many conversations over the years, where a leader was attracted to an organization because of its mission, but soon found out that the values fit was just not there.  Communicate and flesh out your values to attract the right kind of people.


Have you done the work of values identification?
How well are you communicating and leaking your values?
What values imprint can you have this week?
How will you do that?


Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International