Enjoy this excerpt from our new book, Healthy Leadership.
Values like teamwork, service, integrity, and excellence are just concepts. You cannot measure and manage a concept. However, once you convert your values into actions and behaviors, then you can observe, measure, and manage them.
That’s how you bring your values to life, by describing, communicating, and modeling behaviors that demonstrate each value. This clarity helps everyone understand the intentions, minimize misinterpretations, and define observable behaviors for which the team is held accountable. Then, your stated values are aligned with your operating values, and you are leading with integrity.
Defining specific, behavioral examples helps clarify the intention of each value. We find that our clients’ employees create more specific and more meaningful behavioral examples of values than their leaders would have on their own.
In other words, the clarity of healthy leadership doesn’t necessarily come from a top-down process where only the leader paints the picture. The team should help paint it, too. Here is a sample values-to-behaviors worksheet that we use with our clients in collaboration with their employees.