Being the leader is difficult, because you need to be clear-minded about your own motivation, and you are also responsible for articulating “why we do this” on behalf of your team and your organization. To be successful, you need to understand both motivations — your personal motivation and your organization’s motivation — and effectively communicate them to different audiences.

Good leaders start with getting clear about the values of their organization. They will then find authentic ways to communicate these values to the firm’s many constituencies. As the leader, here are steps you can take to develop clarity on the motivation and values of your company or team:

  1. If you are CEO of a company, executive director of a non-profit or senior leader of a government agency, your responsibility is to answer the fundamental “what business are we in?” question. “Why are we doing this?” is the closely related next question.
  2. These are difficult questions to answer. Part of the answer rests on the unique capabilities of the company. The values of the leadership team are important. And part of the answer flows from the values of customers willing to buy your products or use your services.
  3. Whether you use big time consultants or just talk to your customers, get clear about what business you are in — what do your customers believe they are buying from you.
  4. With this concept in hand, spell out your values and motivations as an organization — w hy are we doing this? Remember that you are answering that question both for your team and for those whom you want to care about what you are doing - often your customers.
  5. Finally, develop the messaging and methods for communicating these values to your community — customers, employees, investors, community and partners.
  6. The company’s branding, advertising, direct customer outreach, PR and investor communications will incorporate the values statements. Be creative. Keep it simple.
  7. If this is just a phony make-up-words exercise, that will be clear to everyone.

Read more at Denver Business Journal.