The future of leadership?


The future of leadership?

According to Brené Brown and the extensive research conducted by her and her team over the past 10 years with organisations across the globe, the future of leadership is ‘braver leaders and more courageous cultures’. But what does courage mean? Is it something we’re born with or is it learned? Can it be taught? Brené Brown is clear that courage is ‘teachable, observable and measurable’ and she speaks to the component parts of courage as ‘living to your values, vulnerability, building trust’ and, what she calls ‘learning to rise – getting back up after a setback or failure’.

Here at MRA we work with all our clients to connect them with their personal values be it on a 1:1 basis through our coaching programmes, within teams or as part of developing coaching capability. We believe that understanding, and thus being able to live to our values, is critical to increasing self-awareness and with greater self-awareness comes greater self-acceptance and personal/leadership confidence

What are our values and why are they so important?

Our values are our personal ‘code’ against which we live our lives. They shape our decisions and our choices from career, to life partner, to friends, to the organisation we work for and even to brands we like or dislike. Often our values are anchored somewhere specific, shaped by experiences or by significant people in our lives.

Having a clear understanding of our values can help us to understand why we feel good in certain situations with certain people, and why we find other situations or individuals more difficult to relate to. They are important because they help us to grow, make better decisions and develop as individuals and as leaders.

Using our values more consciously results in deliberate, positive choices to focus on what is important to us, helping us to thrive and ultimately making us happier. And if we’re happier personally then the light we shine as individuals will be brighter helping those around us thrive as well.

As leaders, working with values helps us to lead authentically and they are critical in understanding what we bring to our relationships, both professional and personal. How we lead, and the culture we create in a team, will be driven by our values and will also impact on our ability to adapt and flex our leadership styles. For example, valuing ‘independence’ could be helpful in enabling autonomy in others but may hinder our ability to fully collaborate. Being aware of this can help in devising strategies to ensure we find ways to feel more comfortable working alongside others but in a way that complements ‘independence’ as a value.

How do we work with Personal Values at MRA?

All of our coaching programmes at MRA involve a ‘deep dive’ into values. We have our own tailored programmes including executive, team, resilience and wellbeing coaching where connecting with personal values provides the foundation for understanding self.

The future of leadership

Our comprehensive approach involves working with our unique Values Cards - 50 separate cards each consisting of a series of values all with similar meaning, yet each having its own interpretation for the user. It’s a superb, practical tool to enable individuals to gain a deeper level of self-awareness, and for leaders to understand the values of their teams quickly and easily to enable high trust relationships to be built with ease. Once you have identified your top five personal values our coaches work with you to explore what they mean to you, how they help and how they hinder you. What strengths do they give you, and what do you need to be mindful of? How do they align with the values of the organisation you work with? And so on.

And importantly, you will also explore where in your life your values have come from – the high and low experiences that have laid down you’re the personal code which you now live by. This can be an emotional exploration, and yet it always reveals some interesting insights for you to work from as you continue developing your levels of self-awareness.


This in-depth exploration of your values allows you to make connections to current challenges and opportunities. It can also provide insight into the warning signs, or ‘the indicator lights’ as Brené Brown describes them, when you’re operating outside your values, and enables you to make better decisions and more confident choices based on a real understanding of what is important to you.

Ultimately, if we are to succeed in leadership we truly need to know and connect with who we are. Hougaard and Carter put it beautifully in their published book ‘The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organisation for Extraordinary Results’ (2018) when they said - “Leadership today is all about unlearning management and relearning being human” - identifying and understanding your values seems like a good place to start.

So now it’s on to learning more about yourself, your values, and your future. It can only lead to deep reflection, and a positive future with them in mind. Over to you…

For more information on identifying your personal values please contact us

To order your own set of personal values cards click here


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