This article continues to uncover the 21 qualities showcased in Healing Leadership: How to Lead, Love, and Thrive in Business and Life, our #1 bestseller in six categories: Business Leadership Training, Business Mentoring and Coaching, Workplace Behavior, Organizational Change, Business Teams, and Management Science.
In preparation to write Healing Leadership, during 41 interviews with industry leaders and experts, we uncovered the 21 unique qualities we've been showcasing in our blog.
These qualities will support you to increase your confidence, remove self-doubt, develop a growth mindset to advance as a leader, and help your team deliver on the organization's objectives.
Previous articles capture the first 19 qualities (available from our blog). This article focuses on leadership quality #20: A healing and empowering leader has a clear set of values.
A clear set of values becomes your GPS and that invisible force that helps you navigate difficult life and career decisions.
For this reason, it's significant to bring more self-awareness to your core set of values. One approach to accomplish that is by sharing some of mine.
When I've faced what seemed complex decisions professionally or personally, I've leaned into my set of core values to drive those decisions. One of them in the last decade was my divorce.
My divorce was one of the most gut-wrenching, tumultuous, and unsettling chapters in my life by far. I was in a place where those core values were seriously in question: the freedom to reach my full potential, the ability to live with integrity, be honest with myself and others, express myself freely, express love, and feel loved.
Most recently, in the last five years, when I transitioned to run my own business, the same set of core values kicked in. I searched for a new career aligned with those values and honored the core value of family, health, growth, and well-being.
My son Kyle had always been my priority. Staying in my career of twenty-five years near NYC meant continuing to commute over three hours a day, sacrificing family time, and enduring wear and tear on my physical health and emotional well-being.
A rural marketplace in Sussex County, NJ, where I reside with my son, was limited to a financial services technology professional like me. Switching career tracks meant that I could continue growing, learning, and living my full potential while working more independently and setting my work schedule to be more accessible to Kyle.
When I found myself in these predicaments where my life didn't align with these values, I used them to help me calibrate and zoom in on what was most important, making it easier for me to decide what to do next.
Deciding what's next doesn't mean that it will be easy. And it means that you'll feel a sense of peace and meaning in your next steps, which in itself makes you more resourceful, purposeful, and joyful.
In your career specifically, you may find yourself deciding:
Do I take this job with that company?
Do I take that role that opened up?
Do I relocate my family for that opportunity?
In challenging situations, your core values will help you calibrate to arrive at the right solutions.
For example, let's assume that you value family and adventure, learning, and being of service. You may then be inclined when deciding whether to move out of town and away from extended family that going after a new role in a new city may work for you and your loved ones. Use a clear set of values to help you make those meaningful decisions in those instances.
One of the ideas I've been entertaining is to eventually move to a warmer state in the United States once my son graduates from high school and is off to college. He'll find me wherever I live and make that his home base regardless of where he attends college. Contemplating living someplace different than where I've lived for the past 30 plus years of my life sounds very exciting, especially in this new chapter of my life.
What about you?
What are your core values?
What is it that's most important to you?
Your values shape your workplace culture.
If you are a leader who values company culture, you will make decisions that support building an inclusive culture for your employees, where people feel a sense of belonging.
The other night, while at my son's high school parents meeting, I learned that one of the main themes of his high school is that everyone belongs there.
So, sitting at that meeting, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be amazing if companies not only wrote down their values--as they often do--but also lived by those values.
With this type of culture, when faced with a tough decision, employees would know to pick the right course of action based on the organization's values.
As leaders, we would benefit from being more diligent at ensuring that we're not only saying, "Hey, here's this poster board with our values." But instead, we show up in our leadership role living the values we advocate throughout the company.
The company culture is a significant and appealing factor in retaining and attracting existing and prospective talent.
Potential employees contemplating new roles are questioning, is this the right culture for me? Is this the right fit? If you're targeting a specific type of talent, make sure that your values align with the culture you are bringing or creating in your workplace. This approach is one pathway to attracting and retaining the best talent.
A Culture of Fairness
One of the dimensions of the work culture is fairness.
As a leader, ask yourself, how am I fair to our employees?
For example, are you providing opportunities for everyone who wants to grow and develop? If that's not the case, consider how this behavior may influence your talent leaving?
Many employees feel stuck without a clear path forward when you don't meet their growth needs. Putting on blinders and pretending that everything's okay because we as employers provide benefits, a salary, etc., can only take us so far.
People are looking to grow--albeit some more than others. Consider the universal human need for growth. Many of your high performers and talented employees are looking for a track where they can grow to their full potential.
The Value of Appreciation
To enhance your work culture, show all your talent "appreciation."
Appreciation is free, and it will go a long way in promoting well-being, equity, and loyalty in your team.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from some clients and prospects I speak with daily is that they don't feel appreciated and valued.
If you, as a leader, are not communicating proactively with your team, letting them know that you appreciate the work they do, you are missing a golden opportunity.
It starts by having Self-awareness:
How am I communicating with my team?
How am I sharing the significance and impact of their contributions with them and others?
And of course, if you're not happy with their contributions, there's also the golden opportunity to deliver candid, constructive feedback regarding their options to deliver more value to the organization.
The feedback loop is invaluable to validate that your talent is doing a great job or provide constructive feedback to become better employees and assets for the organization and improve their well-being.
As a result of providing consistent, constructive feedback, employees will experience more certainty and security in their roles, which benefits both the leaders and team members.
I intend to help you deepen your connection with your set of values and support you in building a workplace culture that allows you to extract and elicit the best from your talent.
As a professional woman in technology in the financial services industry, a clear set of values led me to pursue multiple degrees in my field of work, information systems, software engineering, business management. It also helped me prioritize integrating family and career demands and start my own business to live a life more aligned with those values, grow, and reach my full leadership potential.
Clarity on your values and those of your organization will also facilitate navigating decisions professionally and personally, lead in alignment and harmony with those values, and make meaningful contributions in your career to your company's culture and the people you serve.
Easier said than done? If you need support, you can reach us at www.callwithginny.com. Let's set up a complimentary strategy session and explore how our programs can help you and your leaders gain leadership skills, including aligning with your values and leading in integrity with them.
Ready to pick up your copy of Healing Leadership? There's no time like the present! Claim your eBook or paperback at www.executivebound.com/healingleadership.
Live with purpose, live with joy!
Coach Ginny 💕
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Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning transformational speaker & leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 best-selling author of Healing Leadership and Fearless Women at Work. Ginny specializes in partnering with organizations and ERGs to develop leadership dream teams. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees, and delivered keynotes impacting global audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.
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