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VIEWPOINT: Values-led leadership


One of the most famous quotes is from a speech of the late uTata Mandela at the Rivonia Trial when he said: ‘I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and see realised. But, my lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’

This is one of the best and highest examples to describe values. To some discovering one’s values may be a journey, to some the revelation of one’s values may be known upfront. Knowing one’s values is key in the workplace.

This youth month as a young professional you may still be discovering your traits, what you are good at, what you are inclined to lean towards, and your goals.

During the journey of your career, you will need to make decisions which either align with or contradict your values.


To perform optimally and at your best you need to be in agreement with your whole self. You need to have congruency in your thoughts and your beliefs.

Have you had an experience at work where you felt ‘this is exactly where I should be, where I belong, at this point in time’? Finding that congruency will result not only in you being happy in what you do at work but can lead you to perform at your optimal level with higher energy.


A company is only an entity. What makes the environment are the people. The dominant group of people in the company result in the culture of the company.

How are you contributing and making a positive change in your company?

Be a maverick by showing independence in thought and action. What is it that you value enough to stand by and see being realised? If you feel indifferent about a matter chances are you do not value it. If you feel so strongly about something at work that you are willing to give up something for it, that may be your value. Knowing your values makes taking decisions easier.


Successful people have a common trait of being passionate about what they believe in and having a conviction in what they value. Find that congruency in yourself and excel at being the best of you.

A quick test of your values is time and money. Drawing a pie chart of weekly activities and seeing how much time you spend on each is an indicator of what you value. Knowing your values keeps you grounded and living them keeps you going.


The ten moral values measure by the MoralDNA test are:

Wisdom – I think through my decisions carefully

Fairness – I treat others fairly and respectfully

Courage – I stand up for my beliefs and do what’s right

Self-control  I’m self-disciplined

Trust – I’m reliable and trusting of others

Hope – I encourage others to be positive

Humility – I’m less important than the team

Love – I’m emphatic and care about others

Honesty – I speak the truth and encourage others to be open

Excellence – I give my best

Author: Gugu Mtetwa CA(SA) is a Non-exe