Values are the principles and standards that motivate us in life. They are our basic convictions; our belief that tells us what is right, good, or appropriate for a particular situation.
Values serve as guidance through which all decisions are assessed and are an important aspect of leadership. Also values are central to "authentic" leadership.
This well written piece expands on the importance of having values and why the values that are espoused by the leaders within an organization are extremely important. Employees will find it difficult to maintain an ongoing commitment with an organization where the values that are exhibited by the senior leadership are in conflict with their own values.