What Are Leadership Values? (With a List of Core Values)

Updated December 1, 2022

Knowing effective ways to lead can benefit you greatly in your professional and personal life. One of the most effective leadership methods is to identify which values are important to you and can help you guide and motivate others. Reading about some core values of leaders can help you learn to become a more effective leader yourself. In this article, we explain what leadership values are, discuss the importance of these values, and list some values that can be important for strong leadership.

What are leadership values?

Leadership values are the principles and core beliefs that guide people when they assume leadership roles in their personal and professional lives. You can define your values as the moral ideals you believe are most effective for achieving your goals. Leadership values typically relate to a person's core beliefs and the values they have for their team or organization. People are often most successful when their values align with those of the organizations they work in.

Related: What Is Leadership in an Organization? (With a How-to Guide)

Why are these values important?

These values are important because they help you determine how you want to act when you assume leadership roles. A leadership role could include being the chief executive officer of a multi-national corporation, a team leader on a project or a staff member who's worked in an office for a long time. Effective values and beliefs can help you achieve your goals as a leader and decide what kind of leader you want to be. Useful core values can help you determine the best way for you to make decisions and how to lead on an everyday basis.

Letting your values guide you in your personal and professional growth is often a healthy and effective way to learn new skills and achieve more in your career. When your core values as a leader are evident to those around you, you may find it easier to build respect and trust among your colleagues. You can use your values to create a foundation for you to positively influence your colleagues and encourage them to achieve excellence.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Important leadership values

It can be helpful to read about different values that people in leadership positions often cite as important reasons for their success. From this list, you can identify some values you already possess, some values you may want to develop, and how you want to behave as a leader. Here's a list of core values that are important to many leaders:


To be adaptable means being able to accept and respond positively to change when it happens. This kind of flexibility can be important when working in a fast-changing environment. Rather than finding change challenging, effective leaders can welcome change and motivate their team members and colleagues to do the same.

Related: 9 Adaptability Skills in the Workplace


Authentic people are genuine and honest in what they say and do. To be authentic means your words match your actions. Leaders can demonstrate their authenticity by routinely acting in accordance with their core values. It's valuable for leaders to be authentic in their work because authenticity helps to foster an environment where team members trust each other and feel comfortable being authentic themselves. In such an environment, people often feel emboldened to contribute new and innovative ideas and work with their colleagues to achieve their goals.

Related: What Is an Authentic Leader? Definition and Characteristics


Dedication means committing yourself to a specific task, principle, or long-term goal. Effective leaders typically have a high level of dedication to their organizations, departments, or teams, and to the work they do with their colleagues. You can show dedication by keeping your promises and overcoming challenges to achieve your own and the team's goals. Leaders who demonstrate a high level of dedication can motivate their team members or colleagues to show the same level of commitment to their work.


Being empathetic means being able to recognize the feelings of others and to respond to their actions and words with understanding and sensitivity. Empathy is a key factor in emotional intelligence, which also includes the ability to understand and control your personal emotions. Emotional intelligence is valuable to have as a leader because it can help you establish genuine connections with your team members. These strong connections enable you to help them overcome their personal and professional challenges. This means you and your team can increase efficiency and productivity.

Related: What Is Empathy in Leadership? (Importance and Benefits)


Honesty is key to being an authentic, communicative, and trustworthy leader. Honest leaders can discuss issues with others in a clear and truthful manner. You can lead a team more effectively if your team members know they can trust you and believe you keep your promises. Transparency builds trust and respect and can make you a better leader.


Influence refers to the ability to encourage and guide others to act in a certain way to achieve specific goals. Influence is key to effective leadership because it gives leaders the ability to empower others to choose certain actions and beliefs for themselves. This is often more effective than trying to compel team members to act a certain way or believe a certain thing by micromanaging them.

Related: What Is Leadership Influence? (Including Examples)


Integrity means allowing your morals to guide you in your professional and personal life. A leader with integrity doesn't go against their own ethics to achieve a goal. This is beneficial in leadership because leaders want their team members to know they can trust and respect them. If your team members know they can rely on you to keep your promises, you can build a positive relationship with them.

Related: What Is Integrity? Definition and Examples


The best leaders are often passionate about what they do. Passion is a great motivator to achieve goals, and it often correlates with a strong sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction after the completion of a task. Passion can be a great help in achieving goals, especially when you face obstacles and unexpected challenges. When leaders are genuinely passionate about the work they do, their team members often notice and can feel that same passion. This can create a culture where your team members feel inspired to be passionate about their work, too. This often results in increased productivity.

Related: How to Find Your Passion in 13 Steps (And Why It Matters)

Personal development

Personal development means continuous learning and personal betterment. Many leaders pursue personal development because they know there are always skills they can improve and there's always more to learn. As a leader, if you can show your team members your dedication to your own personal development, you can encourage them to take action to work on their personal development, too.

Related: Personal Development Goals for Career Success


Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity and recover from any setbacks you encounter. It is valuable to leaders because they often face challenges and obstacles when trying to achieve their goals. Learning to become more resilient can help you overcome your own challenges and inspire your team members to do the same when they encounter obstacles.


Respect refers to feelings of admiration one person has for another. As a leader, you want your team members to respect you for your qualities, abilities, and achievements. You can't expect your team members to respect you if you don't also show them respect, though. Effective leadership involves respecting each member of your team. That's why it's important to respect the rights, wishes, and feelings of all your team members.

Everybody deserves basic respect but gaining the respect of your team members as a leader requires you to earn it. You can earn the respect of others by working hard, being honest, and adhering to your core values. Even before achieving goals, you can earn respect from others by showing your commitment to your work and to serving others.

Related: 12 Tips for How to Show Respect in the Workplace


Service refers to the act of helping others. Leadership is a kind of service because it involves encouraging and motivating others to perform better and achieve their personal goals. Providing good service often means putting others' requirements before your own. By helping your team members first, you can build loyalty while also encouraging them to help their colleagues, clients, and the entire organization.


Having vision means knowing what your goals and objectives are and having a clear plan to achieve them. Vision is an important core value for leaders to have because it allows them to communicate these goals and objectives effectively to their teams. When you have a clear vision of your own and your team's goals, and why those goals are important, you can get everybody working together more easily.

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