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From values to guiding principles

There is a fundamental difference between doing leadership and being a leader.

When we apply the latest tool or model that we have learned, we are doing leadership. People will do as we ask, but often no more. Our team will fulfil our requests because they have to, but not because they want to.  At worst, they will know we are applying a leadership tool and feel manipulated.

Being a leader is about knowing who we are and the type of leader we aspire to be. It is about setting out our leadership intentions and striving to live up to them, day in, day out.

The ability to be a leader flows from clarity of purpose. It is a result of the deep thinking required to truly understand why you do what you do, what your core values are, and what these really mean.

Much the same as corporate values, our personal values can be an incredibly powerful compass in business and life, or they can be a complete waste of time.  Writing our values in a journal or notes app on our phone has little impact.

Deconstructing every value to identify what we will do each and every day, to prove what we believe on the other hand, is a genuine game changer.

When all is said and done, what we do simply proves what we believe.

These de-constructed values become our very own, unique set of guiding principles, which we strive to live and lead by.

On some days we will absolutely nail them.  On others, we will fall short. Don’t sweat it – we’re human.

The point is that we’ve done the work to understand the type of leader that we want to be, and have a set of principles to live into.

Some of our Guiding Principles will be constant and timeless. Others will change from time to time, especially as they become deeply ingrained and habitual.

The truth is, leadership is a journey of constant improvement and service.

It’s not a destination that we arrive at. We’re never done.

So what about you?

How clear are you on your core values?

When will you create your Guiding Principles?

What could you achieve by dropping the mask and becoming the best, most authentic version of yourself?

Need some inspiration to get started?

To be of service to you, here is a glimpse into my journal as I continue to drop my mask and strive to be the leader I believe I was put on this planet to be. Here are a few of the Guiding Principles that I’ve been striving to live into in 2018.

#1 I will be true to my core values and who I truly am.

#2 I will look after my holistic health to be the best I can be for the most important people in my life.  Physical, mental and emotional.

#3 I’ll focus on the good in others as opposed to that which irritates me. Ask…”What part am I playing in creating the situation I say I do not like or want?”


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