The Surprising Voice Influencing Your Leadership Decisions

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Updated from October 6, 2014 post

Every time you need to make a leadership decision there’s a little voice whispering in your ear.

So, who’s been whispering in your ear?

And just as importantly, do you know what it’s saying?

This whispering voice has tremendous influence over whether you hire this person or that person. It informs whether you drive for growth or lean towards quality control.

The little voice I’m talking about? It’s your hidden values.

Your hidden values are different than the corporate values you espouse, like “Excellence”, “Integrity” and “Innovation”. Hidden values lie much deeper.

Hidden values are found in the hot-wiring of “who you are”; they are the basic make-up of your character, and ultimately they drive the dozens of leadership decisions you make every day-  whether you’ll hire, or fire…whether you’ll act or wait…whether you’ll buy or sell.

Let me give you an example.

A while ago I was admiring a beautiful red Ferrari, and the friend I was standing with said, “Wouldn’t you love to own that?”

“Who wouldn’t?” I answered. “But I could never afford it.”

“Sure you could,” my friend replied. “You could buy that car today. Just sell your house. You’d have plenty of money to buy that car.”

Then he explained the power of hidden values. “The reason you don’t buy that car is not because of lack of money. It’s because deep inside you cling to a different value; security and well-being for your family.”

The point is that effective leadership requires understanding these hidden values, what they’re whispering in your ear. Because when you are aware of these hidden values you can recognize whether they are helping, or hurting, your decisions.

So what are your hidden values, and what are they whispering in your ear?

See if any of these resonate with you…

  • “I like to be in control”
  • “I like to take risks”
  • “I prefer to play it safe”
  • “I like structure”
  • “I don’t like surprises”
  • “I’m a people-pleaser”
  • “I power up when I feel cornered”
  • “I need my decisions to be affirmed”
  • “I thrive on change”
  • “I need to see every detail before I sign off”

Bottom line- learn the hidden values you carry with you every day, and recognize how they are influencing your decisions.

It’s the first step to making those decisions the best they can be.

What hidden value influences your decisions?


the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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