The Leadership Traits That Will Empower You—And Your Team

Neon sign that reads "do something great."
When you are a values-driven leader, you’re more than just the face of a company or the person who signs off on the paychecks. You solve problems, set work culture, mentor new talent, create innovative ideas, and push systems forward that will lead to a better world. These types of leaders bring their own values—passion, humility, compassion, transparency, character, curiosity—to the table to create a work culture that leads to optimal performance and impact.

In the FQ Lounge at 4A’s Decisions 20/20, high-impact leaders gathered to discuss what values-driven leadership looks like and how that translates to privacy, policy, and purpose. Here are some takeaways on how to foster values-driven leadership in yourself and your team and why it is so important.

Female panelists in the FQ Lounge at 4A's Decisions 20/20.

Talking values-driven leadership in the FQ Lounge at 4A’s Decisions 20/20.

Focus on integrity over people-pleasing.

“Early on in my career when I started managing teams of people, my leadership style and values were to please everybody as best I could, but I found it only made me less efficient and drained who I was. As I grew up and started to understand myself more and those core values that were important to me, I learned that honing into those things- like transparency and humility- made me a better leader. I think it drives better business results in the end.”
Marnie Sudnow, SVP, Strategic Accounts, North America, Mediaocean

Avoid labels and remain curious.

“[Leadership] boils down to curiosity- a curiosity in the individual, their processes, the way they work, their motivations. If we are not curious about the people we work with, then we will have a hard time building culture. The culture will be based just on what we think. We want a diverse culture. We want diverse thinking. Truly having that curiosity is important in establishing a team that wants to come together each day and solve problems.”
Megan Malli, VP Client Services, Huge

Pay it forward for the next generation.

“Generosity is important to me because I very much believe in paying things forward. I always think about ‘What did I need at that age, when I had the raw talent but not the know-how or the reputation to bring it to reality?’ Generosity is passing any gifts I have to the next generation.” ~Nadia Tuma-Weldon, SVP, Director, Truth Central, McCann Worldgroup

Develop your mentorship style.

“The best leaders that I have seen are mentors. They can lead by example, coach and course-correct along the way, bringing up people within the organization. The best leaders are inclusive and have a mentor style.” ~Marnie Sudnow

Accept and celebrate the differences between us.

“Men and women have very different brains. Women tend to try to find feelings and connections. Men [tend to] be very analytical. There’s a very different brain. There needs to be more of an acceptance of the different approaches.” ~Susan Wiseman, SVP, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Braze

Know when to let your team lead.

“[Talking] about ego is really important. As leaders, we need to know when it’s on us, and we also need to know when to put our teams in front of us and let them lead and finding those opportunities for people to have those chances. I think it is important to challenge our team members. People get labeled very easily, and we should not allow that to happen as leaders. Having people’s back is really important.” ~Megan Malli

So how can you use value-driven leadership to unlock your own personal development and foster that in your teams? As a leader, you can create a work environment where your employees have a sense of purpose and are motivated to make an impact. Together we can create work cultures that empower people to unleash their full potential.


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