Values of a Leader: 15 Core Values of a Quality Leader

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Values of a Leader: 15 Core Values of a Quality Leader

The best way to determine who a great leader is is by looking at the core values of his leadership. The core values of a leader are what will help any leader become better at managing and leading a team or group. Hence, a question every aspiring leader should ask himself is, “What are the core values of my leadership?” “What do I want to represent or communicate with my leadership?”

You might be overwhelmed by trying to define what kind of leader you are; however, an understanding of who you are or what the organization you represent stands for can help you define what the core values of your leadership will be.

Let’s explore what core values a leader should have, why it is important to have them and list 15 examples of core values of a leader.

What Are Leadership Values?

Leadership values refer to the beliefs and principles that guide a leader’s decisions, actions, and behaviors. The values of a leader guide him in his personal and professional lives, enabling effective oversight, leadership, and management.

Also, the values of a leader shape the character of a leader and generally serves as a moral compass for their leadership style.

The effectiveness of any leadership relies heavily on these values, which inform the application of leadership qualities and competencies. As a leader, you can positively influence individuals, systems, organizations, and outcomes by focusing on the beliefs and values of the people, system and organization. Hence, it is important for the values of a leader to align with personal and organizational values to create a culture that is marked by positivity and openness.

Why Are Values of a Leader Important?

A leader with values is crucial as they impact their leadership, team environment, and company success. These values, when practiced within an organization, earn the team’s respect and commitment. The values of a leader help the leader to:

Make Ethical Decisions

The values of a leader are what provide a moral compass for them when it comes to decision-making. Hence, when a leader is faced with a difficult choice, he can rely on their strong values and principles to direct their actions. In that way, it is ensured that there’s alignment between the personal and organizational values and the decisions they make, hence, promoting integrity and trust.

The Values of a Leader Help to Create a Positive Culture

Within organizations, leaders with values set the tone for the culture being practised there. A leader’s values will help him create a work environment that promotes trust, respect, and collaboration. This is achieved by consistently demonstrating these values. Overall, this will foster a positive culture where employees will feel valued and motivated, thus, increasing productivity and engagement. 

To Build the Team’s Trust and Loyalty

For effective leadership, trust is very important, hence why the values of a leader should always be in line with their actions. That way, they can earn the trust and loyalty of their team members. When there is trust between a leader and his team members, a sense of psychological safety is established, encouraging open communication. Also, employees are likely to be more engaged and committed when they trust their leader’s values and intentions.

To Inspire Positive Actions From Others

A leader with strong values can inspire and motivate their team members especially when the leader embodies their values and communicates them effectively. Hence, inspiring other team members to adopt the values and work towards excellence. In addition, value-driven leadership can create a sense of purpose and meaning, which will increase the commitment and satisfaction level of employees. 

How to Develop Leadership Values

There are several ways the values of a leader can be developed. They include the following:

Development Through Self-Reflection

To develop core values, leaders can begin by reflecting on their personal values and beliefs. To help with the development, they can ask themselves questions such as: What is my reaction to everyday situations? What kind of leaders do I feel drawn to?

After self-reflecting and understanding their personal values, it will be easier for the leader to align themselves with their leadership approach while making conscious efforts to develop the values. 

Development by Aligning With Company Values

Another way for leaders to develop values is to understand the company’s goals, mission, and culture and align with it. The values of a leader that relate to effective leadership at a company usually lie at the crossing of personal and company values. Therefore, aligning your personal values with your organizational values can create a cohesive and value-driven leadership approach.

Development by Leadership Training

Attending leadership training programs can help leaders develop and also refine their values. These programs are designed to guide the leader through the various facets of leadership, which usually includes values-based leadership. These trainings usually offer frameworks, tools, and exercises to help the leaders identify, develop, and integrate their values into their leadership style.

List of Core Values a Leader Should Possess

Here’s a list of 15 core values a leader should possess: 

  • Patience: Patience is a vital value for a leader as it allows them to remain calm and understanding in difficult situations. Being patient with team members promotes collaboration and active listening among teams.
  • Service: Leaders should be in service of others, putting their needs first. This creates a service culture within the organization and helps individuals and teams grow and develop.
  • Respect: Respect must be earned, and leaders should show respect to receive respect. Leaders can demonstrate respect by treating people courteously and earning respect through their achievements and attributes.
  • Resilience: Leaders should be able to recover quickly from setbacks, obstacles, and challenges. Resilience is crucial in today’s demanding work environment to prevent burnout and achieve long-term success.
  • Authenticity: Authentic leaders allow people to speak their minds and appreciate their input. They lead according to their values, which encourages team members to provide their thoughts and share feedback.
  • Vision: A clear vision of where you want to go as a leader is essential. It gives you confidence, helps you stay focused, and inspires others to follow you.
  • Passion: Passion is another important value of a leader. It fuels your drive and enthusiasm and can inspire others to be passionate about their work.
  • Integrity: Leaders should possess moral courage, ethical strength, and trustworthiness. They should keep promises, fulfill expectations, and act consistently and transparently.
  • Humility: Humility is characterized by a sense of humility, dignity, and awareness of one’s limitations. Humble leaders are open to different perspectives and can balance the interests of multiple stakeholders.
  • Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Leaders who demonstrate empathy can build strong relationships, foster collaboration, and create a positive work environment.
  • Accountability: Leaders should take personal responsibility for their actions and the outcomes of their decisions. They should hold themselves and others accountable for their performance and behavior.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is the ability to adapt and adjust to changing circumstances. Flexible leaders can navigate challenges and opportunities effectively, and they can inspire their teams to do the same.
  • Teamwork: Leaders should value teamwork and collaboration. They should foster an environment where individuals work together towards common goals, leveraging their strengths and supporting one another.
  • Continuous Learning: Leaders should thirst for knowledge and a commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement. They should encourage their teams to pursue growth and development as well.
  • Vision: Vision is an essential leadership value that inspires and influences others. A clear vision helps leaders stay focused, bounce back from adversity, and emanate confidence.

What Are the Qualities of Value Leadership?

Values-based type of leadership has several key qualities: 

  • Honesty and Transparency: Values-based leaders are honest and transparent with their teams. They consistently match their words with actions and rely on their value system in both their personal and professional lives. This creates authenticity and trust within the organization, improving communication and stronger relationships.
  • Self-Awareness and Humility: The values of a leader make them self-aware, and they use self-reflection to improve their emotional intelligence. Also, humility enables continuous learning and development for leaders, recognizing strengths and weaknesses.
  • Integration of Core Values: Values-based leaders integrate core values into communication, fostering strong relationships and driving higher performance by selecting and developing talent aligned with the organization’s purpose and mission.
  • Balance and Decision-Making: The values of a leader help them to prioritize balance in decision-making, considering all perspectives, seeking input, and creating an environment for potential solutions, avoiding democracy.

Benefits of Value-Based Leadership

  • Improved Communication: Having shared values in a team will generally lead to greater alignment and open communications. In value-based leadership, employees and managers are more at ease with expressing their thoughts and opinions. Hence, leading to improved collaboration and problem-solving. Also, good communication will close the gap between the company and consumers
  • Stronger Relationships: When team members share similar values, it is more likely they will build stronger bonds and engage in more meaningful interactions. Having this sense of connection will promote a positive work environment, enhancing teamwork. 
  • Higher Levels of Performance: Values-based leaders drive higher performance levels by selecting and developing talent that aligns with the organization’s purpose and mission. When team members feel connected to the organization’s values, they are more motivated to contribute and achieve common goals. Hence, leading to an increase in productivity and performance.


Value-based leadership generally yields more positive and better results in a work environment. The various ways the values of a leader can be fostered include self-reflection and attending leadership training. Also, value-based leadership ensures that there is a balance in decision-making and transparency.


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