My leadership core values

I've been thinking a lot about what I believe it takes to lead. I have centered on these four beliefs as what I feel are core requirements for leadership. I beliefe this is what you owe the people you lead, for leading is not a right. It's a responsibility. Time to unpack each a little.

  • Culture

  • Communication

  • Consistency (Expectation)

  • Trust

I believe that culture is critical to learning.

A culture is a set of beliefs, values, behaviors, and characteristics of a group. Further, this shared set of beliefs, values, behaviors, and characteristics can be used to identify members of that group.

So, a culture is not only what you believe and how you act, it is how you are identified. The culture you ascribe to groups you in the view of others, and, most importantly, has a powerful effect on your decision making.

Schools with productive cultures make decisions based on that culture. Decisions are made because "that's who we are." Those schools operate from a position of unified thinking; from a sense of common belief. Because a school's culture becomes a part of their identity, their decision making comes out of that identity, and, therefore, the reality provides space for that culture.

I believe that communication is critical to culture.

Communication is to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood. Communication requires more than speaking, but hearing and understanding. Communication may not be achieved by speech alone. It may require discourse and common experience. These are the foundation of belief and unified thinking.

That foundation and unified thinking eases communication between those who relate. It provides a space for meaningful discourse and common experience to lend itself to being the language of culture, and therefore, provides a footing for nurturing of that culture.

I believe that consistency is critical to trust.

Consistency is the bedrock of trust. As communication guides how what we say supports a culture, expectations guide our action. Expectation comes from a sense of belief. Not only believing in someone, but understanding what they believe. It is in that shared belief, that position of unified thinking, that trust finds its genesis.

And, I believe that trust is vital to leadership.

Trust is required to lead. You cannot lead someone who can’t trust you because leadership requires relationships. Lacking relationships the best you can hope for is management. But, if you can build trust, you can turn leadership into a group activity, and that is the art of leadership. The art of leadership lies in the ability to correctly anticipate. To see what is ahead and prepare your present for that future. And then, of course, in the constant repetition of that act.

If you can maintain these beliefs, you have the opportunity to lead. If you falter on one, the best that you can hope for is management.

Your thoughts are welcomed and encouraged,

Dane Barner


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