Leadership and Values

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The values of aesthetics, physical health, and financial stability are very important to me.  These values may sound difficult to translate into business and leadership practice but if one examines them closely, it becomes apparent that they fit quite well and are transferrable to leadership.  These values can help leaders focus on what’s important and develop a strong team around them with shared values.

Aesthetics is something that has been discussed and debated for thousands of years, dating back to the earliest philosophers.  Broadly put, aesthetics is the study of beauty; for Plato and Aristotle, this meant (among other things) good proportion of parts, size, and form (Celkyte, 2017).  Even more broadly put, aesthetics has come to encompass the study of anything that could be beautiful; nature, culture, art, etc.  Aesthetics is a value of mine in both the broad and broader senses.  The world is full of so many beautiful incidents, and I think that to properly communicate to diverse audiences and across cultures, it is necessary that one be able and willing to find what is beautiful in each.  This allows a person to better value and evaluates the range of perspectives and backgrounds one will encounter, and this is an essential skill in leadership and business in a global economy.  Since aesthetics seems like more of an intellectual than a practical pursuit, it could be difficult to translate it into action, but translating it into action is necessary since “being a credible leader means you have to live the values” (p. 74).  For me, living the value of aesthetic means not just internally registering beauty but communicating it to others around me as a way of encouraging them and sharing with them the value that I find in their backgrounds.  This develops strong relationships and trust in any organization.

Another strong value I have is physical health.  Physical health is important because we only have one body and one life; being careless with ourselves is very wasteful while being careful with ourselves is laudable.  Physical health isn’t just about eating right and exercising, but about self-respect in a general sense.  And if you don’t respect your own physical health then you probably won’t respect the physical health of others.  A good way to put this value into practice is to set an example by dressing well, looking clean and presentable, eating well around others, etc.  These are of course “surface” physical health things, but they are easy enough to do and can help introduce people to the sort of easily observed things as the tip of the iceberg to comprehensive physical health.

And thirdly, I strongly value financial stability.  People need financial stability to both maintain and progress in their lives.  Financial stability isn’t just a selfish value of wanting money, but of understanding that everyone needs it and that financial stability represents more than a bank account. It represents hopes, desires, achievements, etc.  It represents social success and much more.  Valuing of financial stability entails knowing that everyone has it as a goal, even if only implicitly.  Everyone in an organization wants to do well, everyone wants to be successful and reach a certain point of social esteem.  Eventually, this boils down to sharing a vision, which is what the authors talk about in chapter 4; “people don’t really want to picture only the leader’s vision” but see that they share a stake in it.  Respecting the value of financial stability for everyone in the organization is about recognizing that an organization’s objectives should be beneficial to everyone involved in the business’s strategic execution, not just the leader.

In summary, the three values I have are aesthetics, physical health, and financial health.  These can all be put into practice in leadership.  By putting them into practice we can share values, inspire others, and respect others.  In doing so we are able to develop strong organizational cultures and environments where people want to work and succeed, not just for themselves but for their peers and leaders.

Reference

Celkyte, A. (2017). Ancient aesthetics. IEP. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/anc-aest/#SSH2aii