While I believe core values serve as the fuel of the most untapped and impactful resource of any leader, they also serve as the source of something even greater.

Grace. In two very practical ways.

First … only a leader’s personal experience of digging, embracing and trying to live their own core values (and the values of the organization) can give them the insight to truly understand just how difficult it can be. Considering yourself “values-based” or having a “gut-feel” for your values just won’t get you there. Those provide a conceptual (and sometimes deceitful) experience. This can lead to a certain level of self-misconception. Trying to actually live it before you lead it provides a real truthful experience. In doing so, it naturally wires you with a humble dose of empathy for others.

Second … when frustrated and disappointed in the noticeable drift of others, it will be your own core values that will protect you from reactive behavior and guide you to a proactive and worthy response. Even when the response requires a difficult decision … your values guide how the decision is made and carried-out.

Specifically defined core values are naturally filled with a grace that leads to better leadership.