One of my favorite business books is The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner.  They cite that leadership is relationship. Your people want to know who you are and that you can be authentic.  You must “model the way” by discovering your core values and guiding principles used to express your own voice.  Through this modeling, your team will follow and even contribute to the core values of the organization.

Values are your personal “bottom-line”.  You show by your actions that you live by the values you profess. Values inform the priorities you set, the decisions you make, and why you made them.  So for example, if you value diversity and believe it enriches innovation, you would encourage differing views and fresh ideas. If you value collaboration over individual achievement, then you know to hold your team accountable to follow through on the promises they make to each other and the organization.

Values influence every aspect of your life, consciously and subconsciously.  In other words, they drive your thinking and judgments, your responses to others, and your commitments to personal and organizational goals.  Your own values drive your commitment to the organization, your employees’ personal values drive their commitment.

What are your basic principles?  What do you believe in?  Who are you as a leader?