People do not like to be put in boxes, and just as important, people do not like to be in the dark, outside the door where company values and vision are shaped. People are less energized and tend to drift when they are unsure of how they should be operating within an organization. People need to see their leaders’ commitment to values, and they want a part in helping to shape their organization’s core values and vision.
So how do you show this? There are five steps to helping your company and your team stand for something greater and this week, we’re digging into step 4.
4. Seize the higher ground
“John Gardner, Stanford professor, former secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and founding chairperson of Common Cause, has written that there are four moral goals of leadership:
- Releasing human potential
- Balancing the needs of the individual and the community
- Defending the fundamental values of the community
- Instilling in individuals a sense of initiative and responsibility.”
Gardner notes that concentrating on these aspects will direct you to higher purposes. They take the focus off of you and place it on the people around you. They enable you to let go of the things in life that do not matter and instead make time and create energy for the things that do matter: the welfare of others, the organization, and the larger community.
When working to plant a vision and sense of a greater cause in a team, you must first ensure that values are understood and owned. This is accomplished initially by cataloging the personal values of individual team members. When the personal values of individuals are understood, team values begin to emerge.