As a leader, who do you create value for? What do you think is your role?
Some discussions I had this week brought me to think about this topic and deep dive into my vision and mission, trying to clarify even more who I was creating value for, and how everything was aligned with my purpose.
Do you aim to create value for yourself?
This might sound egocentric for a servant leader, but consider this: if your values and own vision (if you have one for yourself) do not connect with the one of your organization or team, you might feel completely disconnected at some point in time.
The thing is: the world is changing so fast, now, that we need to be able to root ourselves into something strong. And values are a good anchor. But they have to be aligned with your context or you will end up leading from doubt and confusion. It will not create value for yourself and it will backfire on the people you lead, who will feel this negative energy.
So think about the value you want to create for yourself as a leader, and think of it as a way to anchor yourself into a positive energy, that will help you lead others. I’m not talking about climbing the ladder or getting more money. Rather looking how to create clarity and stability, as a gift to yourself.
- I create value for myself by knowing my values and purpose, so I feel confident and determined in my actions.
- I create value for myself by connecting these values and purpose to the one of my organization, so I can focus on the right things.
- I create value for myself by working on clarity, so I know where I am heading to, can let go on the “how”, and lead from here.
Once you have identified this for yourself, it time to think about creating value for others.
Who shall you create value for, as a leader?
With an Agile mindset, we aim to create value for our customers. That’s what an Agile team does. And because an Agile team is empowered by their leader, this leader has a role to play in creating value for these customers.
However, I consider another layer to that, where I want to see the leader as someone creating value for the team.
How does the Agile leader do that?
By collecting feedbacks and information from the team and stakeholders, to enhance the ways of working, the environment. A valuable leader will create a safe space for collaboration and problem-solving to thrive.
This is how the organization with create value for its customers and create benefits: by solving problems more efficiently than before, or by solving new problems they have, in a way that suits them.
And we know from researches that the most creative ideas come when people can speak up openly, and feel heard and safe.
The real value a leader can create is this: an environment where people can nurture new ideas, collaborate to bring them to live and ease risk taking by allowing learning by failing.
Who creates value for the leader then?
The answer sits with what the leader considers of value.
If its recognition, it can come from the team, which can recognize the great leadership.
If its customer satisfaction, it comes from happy customers, the team created value for.
If it’s money, it comes from the compensation system of the organization, which could reward great leadership… in the Agile way, of course.
There are many ways a leader can receive value. And value comes when the leader starts to create value for himself and for his/her team, as a virtuous circle.