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In my journey as an executive coach, I’ve encountered a recurring theme: the struggle to define organizational values. Surprisingly, this isn’t just a challenge for new companies but also for those that have been in the business for years. Why is this significant? Because values are the bedrock of your company’s identity.

Values Are Not Automatic

Many leaders assume that values will naturally emerge and solidify over time. However, this passive approach often leads to a mismatch between a company’s aspirations and its actual practices. Values need to be explicitly defined and integrated into every aspect of your organization. If you don’t define them, rest assured, the market, your competitors, or even your own employees will—and it might not be in ways that align with your vision.

The Gap Between Aspirational and Actual Values

It’s common for organizations to aspire to high ideals but operate on a day-to-day basis with values that are more about reacting than leading. For example, a company I worked with proudly displayed the phrase “This is not my job is something we never say” around their office. While this statement might suggest a culture of teamwork and responsibility, it was actually a reactive measure to past issues of accountability. This is a clear example of aspirational vs. actual values. As leaders, it’s our duty to ensure that our values are not just reactive slogans but proactive affirmations of our core principles.

Leading with Values Front and Center

As a leader, dad, coach….I emphasize the importance of not just having values but leading with them. They should be the first point of reference in your decision-making process, not an afterthought. When values are clear, they simplify decisions, align your team, and enhance your organization’s culture. Leading with values also means being accountable to them—consistently and visibly.

Values are not just words on a wall; they are commitments that define who we are and guide how we act. They are the compass for your corporate ship, and without them, you are at the mercy of the currents. As leaders, let’s commit to defining, articulating, and upholding clear values that propel our teams and organizations towards true excellence.

Spotlight on the Level-Up Leader Podcast

Last week, we had the privilege of hosting Austin Armstrong on our podcast. Austin shared invaluable insights on leveraging AI in leadership—a must-listen for anyone aiming to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. If you haven’t tuned in yet, click here to discover practical strategies that will elevate your leadership game.

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Closing Thoughts

Each day presents an opportunity to reinforce the values that define and drive us. Whether through the tools we use, the people we listen to, or the principles we uphold, let’s commit to clarity, simplicity, and effectiveness in all we do.

Thank you for your continued trust and partnership. Here’s to leading with intention and insight.

Connect with Michael King for Guidance

Are you striving to clearly define or revisit your organization’s mission, vision, and values? It’s crucial to ensure that these elements truly represent the heart of your enterprise and guide your strategic decisions. If you’re finding this challenging, you’re not alone. Many leaders face similar obstacles, but with the right support, these challenges can be transformed into opportunities for growth and clarity.

As an executive coach specializing in guiding leaders through these intricate processes, I invite you to connect with me. Together, we can develop a robust mission, vision, and values matrix that not only reflects your organization’s true essence but also drives it towards sustainable success.

Don’t let ambiguity hold your leadership back. Reach out today, and let’s make your organizational values clear, actionable, and aligned with your long-term goals.

Michael King is an Omaha Executive Coach and the founder of Teams.Coach. He combines strategic clarity with a passion for storytelling and music, bringing a unique perspective to executive coaching.

For a free discovery call to find out how to elevate your business, find balance, clarity,results, and, more importantly….the life you want, click the button below to schedule.

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