3 Core Values that Guide Everything I Do

You may have a brilliant idea or product, a well-crafted vision plan to capture its uniqueness, and a highly organized vision-casting team to communicate it, but if you don’t have constituent or customer buy-in, your idea will probably gather dust on a shelf.

That’s why leadership is first and foremost a people skill. Great leaders are great at connecting with people and connecting people to their vision.

Over more than 50 years in variety of leadership roles, I’ve learned that my own leadership style rests on three core values. You could think of them like the legs on a stool. I know I won’t be successful if any one of these legs breaks.

Faith. My personal relationship with God has given me the opportunity to serve him in over 90 countries of the world with some of his best team members. But my faith has given me more—the firm conviction that the work I do matters to God and is therefore of great importance. That gives me the ability to persevere when things are difficult. I know I can’t be successful without faith.

Relationships. Along the way, I have been inspired and challenged by the leadership of others. They have formed my thoughts on working and relating with people, and served as my teachers. And of course, my family and friends have affirmed and encouraged me in an awesome and loving way. Most important, I have developed deep relationships with many of the people whom I’ve led. I know that I will not succeed as a leader unless I develop, affirm, and value the people around me.

Love. I love what I do! To think that a boy from the poorest town in the poorest county of West Virginia could have an international network that includes people from nearly all cultures and economic groups is humbling, and beyond anything that I could have ever dreamed. What’s more, I am motivated to do my work by my love for God and others. Leadership, for me, is not about getting ahead or even begins successful. I truly want to bless the people I meet.

Those are some of the keys to my leadership. And it’s an ongoing journey. I am continually learning, growing, casting vision, and launching projects that will add value to the lives of others.

What are the core values that guide your leadership? Share your answer on Twitter or Facebook!