What Are Leader Values and Why Are They Important?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to become a leader at work, determining your values might help. Leadership values can help guide you and your team to success and increase productivity. Learning more about exactly what these values are and how to improve or develop them can help you become a stronger leader and member of the team. In this article, we explain what leader values are, discuss why they're important, list 13 values successful leaders share, and give you examples of ways to include them on your resume to impress potential employers.

Why are leader values important?

Leader values are the core beliefs and principles that guide personal and professional opinions and decisions. These values are important because they help you determine how you want to achieve your goals and what type of leader you want to be. Your core leadership values have an important role in guiding how you make decisions and what actions you complete daily. Leadership values also help you grow and develop both personally and professionally.

Having a strong set of core values as a leader helps build respect and trust among your team. This creates the foundation for you to influence your team in a positive way that encourages high performance and excellence. Having leadership values and knowing how to highlight them can also make you a stronger candidate for new jobs or promotions. These values are ones that employers typically notice in candidates regardless of the industry, so developing them can help improve your work ethic.

Related: The Importance of Leadership and Culture in Organizations

13 leadership values

Here are some values you can improve or develop to become a strong leader:

1. Authenticity

Authenticity refers to being genuine and honest in what you say and do. Leaders can show they're authentic by continuing to develop and live by their core values daily. It's important for leaders to be authentic in their work because it creates an environment where team members feel empowered to be authentic as well. This can make a team feel more comfortable contributing new and innovative ideas and encourages an environment where everyone works together to achieve their goals.

Related: What is an Authentic Leader? Definition and Characteristics

2. Adaptability

Adaptability means you're prepared to respond or accept changes when they occur. Workplaces are constantly changing due to new policies, employees, or challenges. Leaders that are adaptable can minimize the impact these changes may have on the work environment and help team members enact the changes themselves.

Related: Essential Leadership Skills on Resumes (and Tips to Improve)

3. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to face adversity and quickly recover from setbacks, challenges, and obstacles that you encounter. Leaders are often responsible for solving problems their team members may face and being resilient helps them do so effectively. Resiliency allows leaders to address these problems as soon as they occur so they can minimize the impact they have and enact changes to stop the problem from reoccurring in the future.

4. Respect

Respect refers to feelings of admiration for someone's qualities, abilities, or achievements and to regard the rights, wishes, and feelings of others. It's important for leaders to earn the respect of their team members so they can work together efficiently. There are plenty of ways to earn respect, such as offering it yourself, being honest with your team, or showing your commitment to your work.

5. Service

Service refers to the act of doing something to help someone else. Being a good leader may involve putting your team's needs before your own. Offer acts of service, such as helping a team member with their tasks or giving another team member tips for using the new software, to strengthen your bond with your team. This can help you build a loyal team and it encourages them to offer acts of service to other people in need.

6. Personal development

Personal development refers to the act of continued learning, education, and personal growth. Great leaders pursue personal development because they know there's always something new they can learn or something they can improve upon. By showing your team your commitment to your own personal development, you can motivate them to take action to work on their personal development as well.

7. Empathy

Empathy refers to the ability to understand the feelings and emotions of others and to respond to their actions and behaviours in a way that shows your understanding of their feelings. Empathy is a core component of emotional intelligence, which also includes the ability to understand and control your personal feelings and emotions. It's important for leaders to have emotional intelligence because it helps you build genuine connections with your team. Having a strong connection with your team members allows you to help them overcome their personal and professional challenges and results in improved efficiency and productivity.

Related: Guidelines on Effective Leadership in the Workplace

8. Dedication

Dedication is when a person commits to a specific goal, principle, or task. Leaders that can do this have a better chance of achieving their goals and encouraging their team to do the same. You can show your dedication by completing promises you make or overcoming challenges you may face when working towards your goals.

9. Integrity

Integrity refers to being honest and deciding to do the right thing at all times. A strong sense of integrity is important in leadership because it helps your team members determine they can trust and respect what you say and do. It also helps them rely on you to keep your promises.

10. Passion

Passion is the feeling of fulfillment and motivation that drives you to continue to work to achieve your goals, even when you face challenges or unexpected setbacks. When leaders are genuinely passionate about the work they do, their team members can see this passion. This creates a culture where your team members feel inspired to become passionate about their work as well, resulting in greater productivity throughout the company.

11. Honesty

One value that is critical in making you a trustworthy leader is honesty. Honesty refers to the ability to discuss topics with others in a clear and truthful manner. When others know they can rely on the things you say and promise, it builds their trust and respect in you and makes you a more effective leader. Just be as transparent with your team as you can to ensure you keep them up-to-date with the company's goals and expectations.

Related: What Is Honesty and Integrity in a Workplace Setting?

12. Vision

Vision refers to knowing what your goals and objectives are and having a clear plan for achieving those goals. Vision is an important core value to every leader because it helps them effectively communicate to their team what the company's goals are and why they're important. Having a clear vision also improves your chances of achieving your goals, motivating you to keep working hard.

13. Influence

Influence refers to a person's ability to encourage, motivate, and guide others to think or act in a specific way to achieve certain goals. Influence is a defining characteristic of leadership because it means having the ability to empower others to choose certain actions and beliefs rather than forcing them into those actions and beliefs through micromanagement. Strong leaders can influence their team to work towards their goals and empower them to keep working hard.

Examples of ways to include leadership values on your resume

If you're applying for leadership positions, strengthening your resume can help improve your chances of receiving an invitation to interview. Here are some examples of ways you can include leadership values on your resume to strengthen it and show employers why you're a good fit for the position:

  • Resilient principal looking for a leadership position to guide students and teachers to success.

  • Led a team of 15 sales representative who consistently reached their quarterly and annual sales goals for five years.

  • Empathetic social worker seeing a position in a public elementary school to help at-risk youth.

  • Facilitated an inclusive work environment through bi-monthly discussions about equality in the workplace and potential improvements to enact.

  • Passionate, self-motivated travel writer seeking a full-time position to discuss my trips and encourage others to travel more.

  • Able to adapt to any environment after leading three teams in three different departments.

  • Dedicated art teacher seeking a full-time position at a public high school to encourage children to be creative and express their emotions.

  • Created an open-door policy with my previous team to encourage honesty and respect among us.

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