You are currently viewing Leadership Values

Leadership Values

Values as a Leader

My values as a leader are integrity, a good work ethic, and enthusiasm about whatever I’m doing. Kouzes & Pasner (2007) state that “People admire most those who believe strongly in something, and who are willing to stand up for their beliefs (p.46). I strongly believe in working hard to get where you want to be, and I strongly believe in doing your best, even if it’s something you’re not so good at doing. I believe that everyone should be honest and open in his or her dealings with others, and think people should find joy in what they do.

I can use these values to improve my practice of leadership by following Kouzes & Posner’s second rule of leadership; DWYSYWD: Do What You Say You Will Do (p. 41). I see value in integrity, hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication. By sharing these values with others, and finding the core values we all share, I can provide people with a leader they can follow. I can be someone who stands up for my beliefs because I know what I believe in. Kouzes & Posner also tell us that “Values are empowering (p. 53). By displaying my values through my actions, I can lead others to do the same, thus empowering them as well.

In order to model the way in my own organization I need to set an example for others to follow. I’m really looking forward to putting the lessons I’m learning here into practice for the next school year. School’s out in a little over a week, so there’s not much to do for this year, but I‘ll be going in next year armed with a whole new set of tools, and I’ll be a stronger leader because of them.

One way I’ll be able to model my values for the students is to continue studying hard, and doing well in my own classes. My students think it’s funny that I’m still in school, but I think it helps them see that I understand how tough school can be. We have common ground, and I continue to instill in them how important I think education is for their futures. When I first got started at teaching, I would take it personally when the kids complained about an assignment being ‘lame.’ Now, I turn it into a fun and meaningful exchange by agreeing with them that it’s the lamest assignment they’ve had to do all year. Of course, they still have to do the assignment, because sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do in order to succeed, but the exchange eases the pressure. They take it better when I’m not trying to pretend that it’s going to be ‘fun.’ They appreciate my honesty and work harder because of it.

Another way I’ll be able to model the way at the school where I teach is with the GROW group I am in the process of setting up. I’ve never been in a formal leadership position, so this is really pushing me out of my comfort zone. I hope I can model for others that even though you may fear something, you can’t let your fears dictate your life. It’s OK to step out of the box when you believe passionately that something will help make a change for the better. I want to model for the kids that they shouldn’t be afraid to go after what they want, and they shouldn’t be afraid to dream about a better life.

Next year, I’m going to take some advice directly from Kouzes & Posner (2007) by asking the question, “What have you done in the past week to improve so that you’re better this week than last? (p.83) Life and leadership are an ongoing journey in self-improvement. By modeling that values I believe in, and speaking through my own voice, I hope to reach others, and inspire them to do the same.


Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2007). The Leadership Challenge (4th Edition ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.