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What Do You Stand For as a Leader?

In my coaching work I notice that sometimes leaders can have difficulty articulating what they stand for. This can be problematic because if you can’t express where you are leading people too and why, how you expect them to get there and how you expect them to behave, all you can do is tell people what you don’t want. Imagine a leader who is unclear in their mind about their standards, having a conversation with a team member whose behaviour is unacceptable. Imagine every time there is a meeting for example, the same team member is consistently disruptive and argumentative and every time their manager tells them they want them to stop the behaviour. And nothing changes. So frustrating. 

Now imagine the same leader who has really thought about and can express what they stand for. They can talk about what kind of workplace they are aiming for and how they want people to feel about it. They have made clear the standard of service and the results they expect to be delivered and the behaviours that will support that. They and their team know what their shared workplace values are and the positive behaviours attached to them. Everyone is also clear about which behaviours which are unacceptable and can and do call out unacceptable behaviour. This leader would have told the team member above that their behaviour is unacceptable, they would have told them what specific behaviours are not ok they would have let them know what behaviours are expected. They would work with them to help them make the changes they need to make.

So what makes up a leadership standard and how can you determine yours?

Most leaders I have worked with around this issue do know exactly what they stand for, which is why I have identified the missing piece as the articulation, not the standard. Creating self awareness around what you stand for as a leader is not hard, it just requires a bit of time and effort to really think about it. In my experience it is comprised of your personal values and beliefs and your professional and workplace frameworks (for example codes of conduct and codes of ethics), combined with your leadership vision for your team or organisation.

Leaders who can clearly express this aspect of their leadership are in a much better position to influence team and workplace culture than those who have yet to develop this capability. So if you you are unclear around your leadership standard, choose your best self reflection mechanism whether it be a brainstorming, mind mapping, listing or drawing, walking, painting or dancing and dive in. You will be pleased that you did.

If you would like to find out more about coaching or our online courses for women, give me a call on +61 421 775 924 or email


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