Leadership is about more than just guiding an organization towards its goals. It’s also about creating connections between leaders and teams from shared personal beliefs, principles, and collective values of the organization. The world of business is non-stop and when leaders are in alignment with their organization’s values it can be a key differentiator in achieving true success. Using the expertise from experienced, professional coaches of Epiphany Coaches Inc., we have compiled a series of answers demonstrating how alignment of personal and professional values enhances not only the leader’s effectiveness but the overall success and culture of the organization.
1. Decision-Making Skills
“Values are one of the references used by our mind to make decisions. When our values are aligned with an organization’s values it is easy to make the right decisions and, in this case, we are very productive. However, if our values are not aligned with the organization’s values, our mind becomes confused, and we take longer to make decisions or make the wrong ones. In this case, we are not productive.” Sara Behmer
When leaders feel out of touch with the values of their organization and the people in it, they can’t make decisions with the confidence and precision that they could otherwise. Instead, they may go back and forth on an issue many times or repeatedly make the same mistakes, leading to coworkers feeling insecure in response to their managers actions. When a leader’s values are aligned, all parts of the machine are confident in their decisions and can see issues holistically. They can therefore take steps for the company that still coincide with ones they naturally would in their personal lives.
2. Workplace Fulfillment
“Leaders work at their best when they can ‘bring their whole selves to work’ and show up openly, honestly, and authentically. This is also true for decision-making. If you have to make decisions or behave in a way for the organization that is at odds with your values, you will feel drained, frustrated, resentful, even a fraud. If your personal values are aligned with organizational values, you can be yourself, trust your instinct, and work faster because you are not having to check or second guess what the right thing to do is. Life is easier and happier, and you can sleep soundly at night knowing that you have done the right thing.” Cara Moore
It’s said all the time, and there’s a reason for it: being authentically you at work is enormously beneficial for your success and relationships. Being yourself brings the peace of mind necessary to make good decisions and do great work. It encourages all to see your workplace as a safe haven. Places we consider ‘safe’ and feel comfortable in are where we can be the most creative and clear headed – and this starts with an organization we feel professionally and personally aligned with. We can be authentically ourselves.
“When a leader’s values align with organizational values, they can lead with authenticity and courage. Instead of leading from the head, a leader can engage with care for all stakeholders. It’s as though there’s a multiplier effect when that alignment occurs when personal and professional motivation align. What happens when they don’t align? The friction generated can be costly to the individual and the organization, particularly if the misalignment can’t be discussed or worked through. Leaders may create silos that disconnect their teams and themselves from the mission of the organization.” Janet Williams Hepler
It’s always smart to avoid creating cliques at work – making connections with individuals from all sectors of the organization keeps the team close and the vision organic. Sometimes this is difficult, such as in cases when values are misaligned and create segregation between coworkers. When the issue starts with the leaders, it creates problems at all levels and disrupts the flow of the whole company. Working in an organization that encompasses values aligned with your personal values is important to ensure you’re contributing to a healthy environment for everyone to succeed together.
“A leader’s personal values define who they are, they determine their belief system. When aligned with the organizational values, the leader does wonders, he/she shows up as an authentic leader and is very engaged. Authentic leaders create workplaces for employees to thrive and be successful. Authentic leaders create a work culture that emphasizes authenticity, honesty, integrity, candor, and empowerment.” Sangeeta Mather
Leaders are more than just individuals who lead others to success. Leaders essentially encourage everyone to be successful individually and as a group, giving them confidence and reassurance to grow and shape them. If a leader is intended to be successful and fulfilled using their own values, how can they thrive in a misaligned environment? To perform their best, and in turn influence everyone to perform their best – their perspectives must align with those of the organization they work at.
What we’re saying is: leaders who feel free to represent their beliefs can authentically be themselves, and therefore, perform their best! When they aren’t confident in the values they represent professionally, connection becomes disconnection and performance levels drop. Bringing their whole self to work – and doing so freely – creates a strong alignment of values between leaders and their organization.