A Core Values Leadership Case Study

Let’s dive into the CVI a little bit more. Here’s a case study in the CVI:

Take a leader who’s a Merchant/Builder, which simply means their highest value is relationship and making deep, honest connections with people; and their secondary value is the confidence that they know how and what to do to have the greatest positive impact on a situation. In this case, the leader really wanted to show up as his Merchant self in the workplace; he wants to respect relationships, make real connection, respect the values of others, operate from that place of love/truth… all that. That’s who he wants to be. Problem is, in this particular situation, he keeps showing up like a Builder; confident, knowing what to do, and willing to take action. That realization — that he was showing up as a Builder — depressed him; he saw it as a negative. He wants to be a Merchant, but was naturally leaning into a Builder, and he judges himself negatively for that.

The real growth happened when he was able to to flip the judgment into genuine power — the real value of the Builder: to accept that he is showing up in a positive, powerful way, that he really does know what to do and his confidence was empowering to the team to step up and THAT’S OKAY.

Builders get a bad rap, because their negative conflict strategy —  intimidation — is so feared. He doesn’t want to be aggressive and intimidating! But once he realized that he was being a Builder, guess what? He could access the POSITIVE side, too!

Which leads us to a better question: How do I show up as Builder in the positive, inspiring, empowering way?

Builders have faith in themselves; that they can provide a great contribution to the situation. And that’s exactly what he did. He provided solutions for his team, and he had the confidence and faith in himself to deal with criticism when it came; to allow people to question and challenge him in earnest, and rather than being defensive, weak and intimidating, he was engaging, open, respectful and actively listening.

The big lesson came when he realized that just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn’t mean you’re bad, and it doesn’t mean you have to drop into your negative conflict strategy and intimidate the hell out of them. Disagreement is good. Like fire tempering steel, it makes us stronger, and if can stand in the disagreement with confidence, openness and the willingness to hear and engage respectfully, great things can come of it. 

When this particular leader leaned into his natural strengths and was able to step into his Builder in confidence, he was able to support his team in a much more profound way.