Values have been absorbing my thoughts lately and the role they play in our lives particularly as leaders. But I am questioning: Does a person, who is a leader, have values or does the values make the leader?
After watching a Youtube video (see below) of an interview with Senator Penny Wong with Fran Kelly from ABC RN Breakfast Radio it was interesting to simply scribble the mentioned values in this nine minute interview. The list included:
behaviour of principle
Values which led to a decision made between personal loyalty to a friend vs personal loyalty to a political party, in this case the Labor Party. When such a distinct and closely related decision effects not just a multitude of people but also directly effects individuals then the agony of making a decision is more evident.
Throughout our careers and lives as leaders, the “agony” of making ethical decisions, that is habitual decisions, will be numerous because a leader is consistent in their self reflection and awareness of these values. I question if a person can make an ethical or moral decision if they are unaware of these values. Watching Senator Wong’s body language suggests that the decision making one was coloured by values which supported her logic thoughts and tore at her emotional values. When values confront each other the decision making process becomes a conflict between heart and mind. What are the determinants of the final decision? What decision can I consciously live with? And this is one of the great challenges of a leader…to lead with the heart or lead with the head!