In the October 2010 edition of the McKinsey Quarterly Stan Slap, author of the best-selling “Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers,” contributes an article titled “Revealing Your Moment of Truth.”
In the article, Stan argues that the best leaders inspire their teams by bringing their values to work.
The purpose of leadership isn’t to increase shareholder value or the productivity of work teams, though effective leadership does these things. Rather, the purpose of leadership is to change the world around you in the name of your values, so you can live those values more fully and use them to make life better for others. The process of leadership is to turn your values into a compelling cause for others.
After all, you can’t live your top personal values at work without the support of your people. But could they, without hesitation, pick your values from a long list? Could they describe the benefits of supporting those values? If the answer to either question is no—and for most senior managers it is—then you haven’t begun to see the performance your people are capable of.