When the going gets tough, stick to your values.

-Leadership and life are defined by your choices.

Listen to this story about a woman named Amanda, who is the CEO of a successful food services company. Her leadership style is marked by authenticity, integrity, and a deep sense of purpose.

Early in her career, she faced a pivotal decision that would set the course for her future. She was working at a prestigious firm known for its cutthroat corporate culture. However, Amanda’s values clashed with the company’s relentless pursuit of profit at any cost.

Turning point.

One fateful day, her boss instructed her to manipulate financial data to secure a lucrative contract. It was a decision that could have catapulted her career but at the expense of her values. Amanda found herself at a crossroads, torn between the allure of success and her deeply held values of honesty and integrity.

After a sleepless night, Amanda made a momentous choice. She walked into her boss’s office and resigned from her position. It was a bold move that raised eyebrows and invited doubt from her colleagues. However, she left with her head held high, determined to lead a life true to her values.

Fresh start.

Amanda’s love for healthy food led her on a path to creating a small natural foods company, one that prioritized ethical practices and innovation. Her commitment to values-driven leadership attracted like-minded individuals who believed in her vision. Together, they built a company that thrived not only in terms of profitability but also in terms of employee satisfaction and community impact.

As the CEO of her own company, Amanda faced numerous challenges along the way. There were moments of doubt, sleepless nights, and formidable obstacles that tested her leadership. However, she never wavered in her commitment to her values.

A defining moment.

A major crisis occurred when a software glitch compromised customer credit card data. The public outcry was swift and severe. Some inside Amanda’s company, feeling the immense pressure, suggested she sweep the issue under the rug to protect the company’s reputation.

Amanda, however, refused to compromise her values. She took full responsibility for the breach, publicly apologized, and vowed to rectify the situation transparently and ethically. Her honesty and accountability in the face of adversity garnered the respect and admiration of her employees and customers alike.

The reward.

Amanda’s decision to prioritize her values over potential judgment paid off in the long run. Customers, inspired by her leadership, remained loyal, and many even applauded her company’s commitment to transparency and rectification. The crisis ultimately strengthened the company’s reputation, solidifying its status as a values-driven company that walked its talk.

Amanda’s company continues to thrive, setting an example for others in the natural foods industry. Her story is an inspiration for aspiring leaders who seek to emulate her unwavering commitment to values in their own careers.

Ultimately, Amanda’s journey from a young professional facing a moral dilemma to a respected leader prioritizing values over judgment is a powerful reminder that true success is not measured solely by financial gains or external validation.

It is about staying true to your values, even in the face of adversity, and creating a legacy built on authenticity, integrity, and purpose.

Work Your Authentic Genius.
What’s the one value you won’t compromise on? Why?

Till next week,
Jo-Aynne Von Born, Leadership Coach


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