RCT Blog


I’m continuing to acquaint you with a book in my library, The Truth About Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. This book is filled with insights that every leader should review on a regular basis.  Here’s Leadership Truth #3:  Values drive commitment.


“Before you can effectively lead others, you have to understand who you are, where you come from, and the values that guide you.” (page 31).  This is about answering the question, “Who am I?”  Not your resume, job title or list of achievements.  Who you are is NOT simply what you do. 


One of the exercises that we at RCTaylor sometimes do with leaders is to ask them to create a “life map.”  We give them a sheet of flip chart paper and a couple markers and give them 20 minutes to create a “map” or visual representation of the people and life experiences that have made them the leader that they are today.  As leaders share these life experiences with others, we often see an emotional response as they recollect people and experiences that have helped shape them.  For some it’s a challenging childhood, a special mentor, broken relationships, or a frightening medical diagnosis, while others share the blessings of family and friends that supported them and challenged them to be all that they could be.  This exercise helps leaders understand who they really are.  What’s important to them.  What drives them to do what they do.  What beliefs they hold dear.  What they truly care about.  What values guide their decisions and actions, on and off the job.


As a leader, your team wants to know who you are.  And each one wants you to know who they are.  Values drive commitment.

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