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An effective leader understands the different resources available to him; people, skills, tools, financial resources, and leverage those resources to bring vision into reality. But an effective leader is not an island. He recognizes that visions are best achieved when the leader acknowledges that he does not have all the answers and invites those around him to collaborate, to fully develop and implement the vision.
As a leader I have five core values that influence my leadership:
Integrity – As a person and a leader, I know the importance of developing and following a moral, ethical code. Knowing those principles which you stand on, adhering to them consistently, and letting others know about them helps build trust. I treat others, both colleagues and customers with respect and acknowledge their worth and role in achieving our ultimate vision. I put integrity ahead of profit, developing excellent human resources and products that accomplish what the customer needs, as opposed to a product that does the minimum required and I expect others to do the same.
Collaboration – While I respect my vision and abilities, I also understand that a vision developed and implemented through collaboration draws on the strengths of many and reduces the weaknesses of the individual. I look to others and their strengths as important sources in accomplishing goals. Being able to bring together the right group to collaborate on a project and guide them to bring together their talents, produces the strongest vision and the most effective implementation. Each person has worth and an important role to play and through collaboration, that is leveraged and affirmed.
Creativity – It is important to be able to look at a task, idea, or problem from different angles. This ability to step away from current assumptions and understandings is one side of creativity that is important. It is also important to be able to look at new ideas and processes in the design of a solution. I look to experience and tradition as one important pillar of approach to understanding a situation and developing a solution and creativity as the other pillar. I want to understand what has been and what others have done but not limit myself to current practice and knowledge. I challenge myself to look past that and to consider new thinking and methods to achieve the vision.
Communication – Vision and the importance of that vision need to be clearly and effectively understood by those involved. Two-way conversation and cycles of feedback need to reflect honesty and a willingness to hear. I develop an environment of open communication that allows others to have input into the vision and the methods of implementation, as well as, provide feedback to me. Listening is as important as explaining and sharing. I also provide open and transparent feedback to others. Everyone needs to understand the areas where they need to develop and grow and need to have their strengths affirmed and their successes celebrated.
Personal Growth – Who we are is a journey that we should be actively following. Not only am I committed to the growth of others, but I am committed to my own personal growth. I see each opportunity as a chance to discover new ways to improve myself, my work, and my environment. I am continuously looking for ways to grow both in my vocation and in my personal pursuits. With growth comes new perspective and greater understanding. I set goals for myself and seek others to hold me accountable to them and encourage others to do the same.
Each of these core values influences me daily in my choices and behavior and guides me to be a leader that invites others to join me on the journey and focuses on coaching others to continually grow and evolve as we develop and achieve our vision and goals.