Values and Leadership

I have been working over one year in a leadership position at Finnish technology company and it has been eyes opening experience. When working at company’s top management it forces to think leadership more deeply. In this post I want to share my thoughts about values, own values, organisation’s values and values of different people.

Understanding the importance of values starts with understanding own values. What do you value? Do you value beauty, courage, growth, happiness, power, truth or wisdom? This is short list of examples what people value and those values guides people and organisation to different decisions and actions.

Finding own values may take time, but it also helps in leading others. Since you are aware of your own values and have courage to discuss about them with others, it will help you on your work as a leader. The good organisations have shared values and they are usually find by very simple action: discussion. The values are easily found by having sessions where team members have opportunity to tell what they value. After a while or sessions it is easy to find shared values which are in place at organisations.

Living by values. The leaders need to live by their values and when organisation has shared values in place, those must be respected by the all. Strong values builds strong organisations and cultures. The good organisation culture may affect very positively to company’s financial results and overall value. An excellent example is Zappos, where strong values and culture have help it to grow from start-up to multi-billion dollar company.

The company values and culture had big role in its success. When everyone knows what are the values in organisation it helps to make correct decisions and actions without concerns. If values are respected and organisation culture is built on those, it will lure right people to company and spit out those who don’t fit. In general with shared values and good company culture will help leader in their challenges.