Thought Leadership

January 20, 2017

How Newly-Elected Officials Can Earn My Respect: Embrace Some (Real) “New York Values”

Kathleen Reynolds

Entry-level, seasoned executive, or elected official, Kathleen Reynolds takes a stand on the “New York Values” she feels we must all strive to meet.

 

One GOP hopeful put his foot in his mouth early in the GOP primary season when he sneeringly referred to “New York values.” I took offense as a proud New Yorker and because I do in fact find shortcomings when it comes to our new President’s values. But they aren’t a reflection of his home state.

 

That place, New York, is where I’ve been honored to build my career for the last 14 years. It’s been my home since college. It’s been the place where I’ve welcomed two children into the world. So I’d like to share a little more about what real New York values are all about. Here at CooperKatz, I’m proud that they account for 50% of our performance evaluations. Our new President has just taken a sworn oath to become the most powerful elected official in the land. I’d like to respectfully request that he (as well as all of our elected officials) display the kind of New York values my firm grades every employee on, from entry-level to our Executive team. They are:

 

  • Attitude – Demonstrates positive and “can-do” attitude, even in the face of a challenge; bringing enthusiasm and an open mind; contributing to the overall well-being of the team; someone who people feel good to be around.
  • Curiosity – Shows a desire to continuously learn and experience new things, and to share new knowledge / insights; an intellectually curious person is always growing and always excited to learn and know more.
  • Dependability – Individual is someone whom others can count on to come through and someone with a clear sense of personal accountability. When this person gives his or her word, it means something. When this person has a deadline, he or she meets it.
  • Going Above and Beyond – Individual consistently demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond his or her specific scope of work in supporting others.
  • Honesty and Ethics – Individual is both honest and ethical in everything he or she does. There is no question that this individual is always truthful, and does his or her best to raise a red flag relative to any request or other situation that may compromise integrity.
  • Loyalty – Individual demonstrates loyalty; this includes fostering a sense of trust in those around him or her, and demonstrating through actions as well as words that this individual is sincerely invested in the well-being and positive advancement of everyone.
  • Participation – Individual actively and enthusiastically participates in all aspects of our business and culture, affording the chance to know one another as people and deepen our affinity and alignment with one another.
  • Presence and Voice – This is a person whose presence is noticeable to, and makes a positive impact on others.
  • Respect and Caring – Individual always treats others with respect and caring, even in moments of stress, disagreement or challenges. This includes acknowledging the thoughts, ideas and perspectives of others as well as being an active listener. This also means speaking in an appropriate tone and keeping others’ feelings in mind, even in the “heat of the moment.”

 

The text above is abbreviated from our actual performance evaluation language, and yet, it seems so relevant considering the polarizing forces at play today. I’m far from perfect and I’ve had wake up calls if I slip in any of these values in the evaluations from my peers and superiors. They matter as much as the competencies, if not more, in being a trusted leader who earns respect. The President must perform at the highest bar, which is why I truly I hope he – and all of our leaders – can meet and exceed these expectations. We the people, and I, a proud citizen and New Yorker, will be watching.


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