Know and live your values. Be bold. Have humility.

Know and live your values, be bold, have humility.

by Janet Kendall White

I recently had the privilege of moderating a panel of female Northeast Ohio Mayors. The first question I asked them was if they could only choose one characteristic for effective leadership what it would be and why. They chose values: know them and live them. Be bold, don’t be afraid to speak up and do what is right and take some reasonable risks. Have humility, be willing to ask for help, keep learning and admit when you are wrong. Wow, the questions after that brought out other valuable lessons but we literally could have stopped after the first question. Let me expound on their answers.

Know your values and live them. Step 1, are you clear on what your values are? It takes some reflection. Have you tested them against real situations? If X happens, how would I respond? If Y happens what would my response be? Have you checked yourself to compare your responses, your calendar, and your life with what you say and think your values are? Are they all aligned? Do adjustments need to be made? Next, do those you work with know them and understand that their decisions need to line up with yours and the organizations values?

Be bold. Do you sometimes find yourself hesitant to speak up when your opinion or perspective differs from that of others? Are there certain situations where you want to be resolute, but you acquiesce? Have an idea that you don’t follow through on because there might be some risk? Allow fear (false evidence appearing real) to get in the way. Step up and step out. Be bold.

Have humility. Followers are human and so are we. One of the greatest ways to show others that it is ok that they make mistakes is to show them you do and admit them quickly and openly.  From our mistakes or admitting we are wrong comes learning for us and for others. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help as hard as that can be. We expect others to ask versus fumbling or not doing something because they didn’t know how and yet sometimes, we hesitate to let them know that we too need help at times. Regardless of our position in life we can display confidence and humility they are not mutually exclusive.

If you were asked the same question what would your answer be? 3 people all nodded their heads at the other two answers and gave their own. All great characteristics of effective leadership we can learn from.

Time for reflection on your leadership. Do you know your values? How are you doing against living them daily? Are you being bold? Displaying humility?

Thank you, Mayor Pamela Bobst, Mayor Kim Thomas and Mayor Marie Gallo

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