In the South Australian Murray Darling Basin Natural Resource Management (NRM) region, our case study site, decision-making and implementation of state NRM policy rests with a relatively small number of NRM leaders, advisors and support staff. In this paper we explore whether these community NRM leaders reflect the values and attitudes of landholders in the wider region. Our interest in the potential for shared values derives from NRM and the wider literature of the importance of shared values for driving institutional trust and NRM outcomes. A set of scales was used to measure key values and attitudes which shape participation in NRM programs. Data were collected from community NRM leaders and landholders from across the region. Through statistical testing, this study demonstrates that the values of the community NRM leaders differ to those of landholders on four out of the six values and attitudes examined. Landholders are more economically motivated, have a stronger sense of tradition, are more capital constrained and have a different set of environmental attitudes than community NRM leaders. Alternatives for building trust, given significant differences in shared values, are discussed.