Get inspired by exciting ideas for change
Empathy is teachable skill, and one that is key to a flexible, problem-solving citizenry
Rethinking the mission, delivery and cost of advanced learning in the 21st century
Technology Enriching the Lives of Girls
Solutions for stronger communities
Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math (STEM) Education
Transforming Schools to Teach What Matters
Ashoka Changemakers and the Christian Science Monitor share a vision for change. Make Change on Empathy.
Celebrating International Women’s Day Centennial
Exercising your moral compass, social mission, and empathetic leadership. What do social innovation leaders look like? What skills will equip youth to lead with integrity as future CEOs, entrepreneurs?
Join our Open Dialogue on Values-Based Leadership!
Join our Open Dialogue on Values-Based Leadership!
You must be logged in to post a comment. It's simple and fast.
Basing on many Scholars theoretical facts and on field realities, WE, Human resources Managers, as many Managers base they leadership skills on many tools of leading, leading with values consist on what agenda the manager should elaborate to be followed by all embody organization, as the line of conduct, including workforce or employees, their systems and organization’s culture.
As far as everyone in the organization requires to be recognized and need also to be considered in what is performing in each and every cell or department in that organization, employee participation and values relationship contribute more in organizational performance;
So now Leading with Values include
1. Values Refresher
3. Lifelong Commitment
4. Honor and respect
5. Personal and Intellectual Growth
6. Philanthropic and humanitarians Services to others
7. Sincere Friendship
8. Submit Feedback and accountability.
Whereas Value based leadership is when you align your organization’s mission, values, vision, strategy, performance management, rewards and recognition, and processes and systems
In one word, it is when there is a purposeful consistency in your organization’s culture.
Value based leadership is about decisiveness, conviction, and execution ; whatever path you as the managers decide to follow, focus on implementing it well.
Motivating employees by connecting organizational goals to employees’ personal values that is crucial in managerial system of Value based Leadership.
Here, Values-based leaders communicate organizational values that tell members how to behave in order to fulfill the organization’s mission. They talk about these values in a way that connects with employees’ personal values, so that employees come to identify strongly with both the organization and its mission
Great conversation everyone! I will leave this page open so you can continue to brainstorm, debate and continue the conversation.
If you would like to see our Ideas Centre cover more topics such as this please head over to this weeks discussion and let us know what topics you’d like to see in the future!
For me over the course of my career choice and later my experience, I felt a sense of unnatural and unhappy feeling in my daily routine as well as regret for not honoring my values all the time.
Though I always knew I wanted to lead and thought that I stuck to my personal values, working and interacting on regular basis with other cultures that do not share “my value system” taught me that it is not so easy to do just that…or is it?
It is not until recent years that I purposely analyzed and later defined my core values, those that are at the vey core of my being and the choices I have made. The changes that came with that are both, exciting, and the hardest challenge of my life.
Today I am committed to my belief system, to every element deep inside that “tickles” me. It influences every aspect of my life family, friends, work, the globe! The perceptions formed of the world we live in, and those we impact, is now filtered through a new changed viewpoint; one that both inspires and motivates me to do what I never thought possible.
What I found in the process is that it takes courage to face our authentic self and make the commitment to protect and care for our true self! I also found that values and qualities are not the same thing. Values are what I am (a person of integrity) and qualities (honesty) are what I do, based on my values. So, I determined that I value personal integrity and engage with people of diverse backgrounds who share similar value system, because I value their point of view and diversity, for example.
With a better understanding of my core values I am more equipped to lead my family, friends, community, organization etc. Having more clarity helps me make better choices in a tough environment (such as our economy today) such as working more on volunteerism and bartering or mentoring. I have learned so much in the last 5 years and the choices (regardless of difficulty) get easier and easier with practice. I am more aware of why I choose the companies I work with/for, the friendships I develop, the organizations I support, the time I spend alone or with company and the work week!!! Yes, I am now self-employed and love every challenge and learning experience.
I look forward to our new society full of ideas and innovative, caring and tiered of being overworked; a new and renewed one, a simpler more honest one.
Thanks for sharing your story Clau. It sounds like the step of identifying your values was one of the most empowering steps in your life. I am curious what made you take that step though? What was it that made you feel as if you had to identify your core values? And how would you encourage others to take on that challenge of identifying their values?
I am thinking it is a process, as any, and that the pitfalls would be self realization and taking personal responsibility. I am not sure if this has been mentioned yet this week – I believe value based leadership is a consciousness. (A consciousness that resulted from someone’s learning something new in experiencing relationships and recognizing the differences in a hierarchical systems of leading from the top down and one that begins listening to whats important to all levels of employees mutually. With experiencing these two styles and
differentiating the two sets of qualities through their own experience of them.)
Manifesting it in an organization will begin with a personal commitment to shift the style of leadership. At this point a culture will be developed that will include a support structure for operating, learning systems, programs, on going personal development of understanding.
In this weeks dialogue there has been sharing of value based leadership that have included, universal values/needs and need for their attributes in a leader, experiences between whether a it is value based, listening, empathy, etc., and I believe these are all different equal parts of the culture that create the consciousness. I believe value based consciousness is a result of using all these basic skills all at the same time creating new information spontaneously from which something new can enter.
Also it is my opinion that in order to have the consciousness, it is the practice of all the parts within the culture. Therefore as it has been mentioned in these dialogues, it is walking the talk.
Still in my opinion it will take a system to support creating honest expression and listening to others so that they are fully recognized as individuals contributing equality through their positions within the organization. No one in the organization is going to have the skills to be all of this all of the time, yet the practice is having the ability to realize this in one self and be honest. Therefore the consciousness is knowing the difference between experiencing relationships of
connection and of disconnection, power with and power over. Organizations will consist of people going between both these sets of experiences. The culture could be one that includes the points in this weeks discussion to develop the basic skills to connect such as; common set of values, agreements, listening, expressing honestly, structures for dialogue (conflict resolution),
etc., that could evolve in developing stronger inter personal and relationship skills to achieving a greater understanding and connection to the intention of the organization conscious vision. My personal experience is that achieving even some of these experiences there is more spontaneous creativity and productivity. People are happier and more content.
Hello Everyone! It’s been great to read through the robust dialogue, and now following up with a very intriguing question around the potential pitfalls of values based leadership. I took a moment and looked up the definition of pitfall – “a hidden or not easily recognized danger or difficutly”. In the context of values based leadership, the concept of living and leading in alignment with your core values, each and every day sounds simple, right! Yet the difficulty often comes into play when you realize the elevated expectation that values based leadership requires walking the talk in every role of life, every minute of every day. Even when no one is looking. Additionally, it’s hard work – it’s just plain “difficult” to really take a hard look at yourself, and seek to understand how some of your patterns of behavior and choices impact others. Honesty might be a core value, yet often being honest with ourselves about our leadership at first can be and generally is one of the most difficult things we must do to become better leaders. The process can be a little overwhelming and quite frankly scary to hold up the mirror. Furthermore, it you can get yourself to the point of real honesty, an array of feelings can emerge around the past, present, and future. Ultimately, we believe that while difficult, the process is healing, and the emergence of a new soul – filled with a sense of innerpeace and new confidence, changes lives. Yours and all those you have the privilege to touch. All things change when we do. Have a great weekend.
Wanda, indeed the process is overwhelming and scary when those feelings emerge as we evaluate our honesty compass. However, the sense of innerpeace and confidence one is left with makes the pain worth every minute. Well said!
Happy Friday friends! As we reflect on the week’s discussion, I ask this question, what are the potential pitfalls of values-based leadership?
Excellent commentary from Bonnie, Ryan and Charlie around values in action throughout the entire organization. Because we believe leadership is a choice not a title, this in and of itself sets an expectation that Values Based Leadership is carried out all across our company.
Other areas where values can become evident include such things as the decisions we make, where we spend our time and money, and the company we keep in terms of customers, vendors and business partners. At Luck Companies we have identified specific values based leadership characteristics and supporting behaviors such as highly self managed, authentic orientation toward others and character strength. We then measure these through annual 360′s that all of our leaders participate in. Bottom line, are the leaders walking the VBL talk in the eyes of our associates. We have also identified 10 values based culture characteristics; attributes that we consider “evidence” of values in play such as an environment that is feedback rich; displays high alignment; is optimistic, flexible and adaptable; encourages honest, open communication. We then ask our associates to provide feedback on our defined values based culture in an annual Associate Engagement Survey. Ultimtely we believe our associates give us our leadership and represent the best voice to speak to our alignment to our values based culture.
Congratulations Mark, it sounds like Luck Companies is committed as an organization. Cheers!
The new proof will be through experience. How do I know what values are upheld by my collaborators? How do I know their leadership style? How do I know people mean and do what they say? It’s not their CVs, it might be their stories to a certain extent… It is through experiencing something with them, shared action, a shared journey… I know values-based leadership because I have experienced it…
We have been on this VBL journey in a formal way at our Company for ten years. In the early days people said “it is a fad, keep your head down and it will blow over”. Well it did not, it started with me as the CEO- people had to see my actions and words line up with the Values that we had all developed for the organization. Then people started seeing executives lead in a way that was so much more effective and in line with the values we said we believed in. In three years, three of twelve executives left because this is such hard work and they decided they could not or did not want to work on themselves, remember it all starts with ourselves and our Choices, the Choice we all have every day to be highly self aware and make decisions that result in our leadership being the most effective version of a highly aligned person. The proof is that people start to say “this is different and the talk is REALLY matching the walk. This is just one of the observable pieces which I would call PROOF that something has changed for the better.
Charles is spot on here. The real litmus test of VBL is whether or not you can ask someone, anyone, in the group if they see their “leader” LIVING the values that are emphasized. While trickle down may not work an economics, it works wonders in culture creation. Whenever someone joins a new company, a new organization, a new group of any sort, they will look to the leaders to model behavior. Whatever behavior is being modeled will serve as the example by which to follow. The second piece I would offer as proof is observing the group and see if value maintenance is occurring. What I mean by that is that every single person in a group becomes invested in the maintenance of the values being ascribed to, not just the leaders. When values are being referred to in normal conversation, that is success.
I enjoy reading how the process of implementing this culture into your organization as it gives me as a reader a tangible experience I can connect to and more understanding beyond theories, generalization and perspectives. My personal believe is by sharing these stories of success and regrets over time that they will support the 100th monkey effect. Also hearing these specific details I can weight in myself by checking in to how I connect with what is being described. Therefore I feel appreciation for hearing how this has been integrated over time! Thank you, Renee
What about PROOF? What would be some compelling evidence that Values Based Leadership is being practiced in an organization?
In August of 2007 I supported a 7 day intensive that brought 4 Trainers of Dr. Rosenberg’s to Victoria to focus on needs/values. One of these Trainers Gregg Kenrick had just previousily had his own corp., in the computer industry. Shortly after introducing a value based organization in the company the bottom dropped out of his industry. What happened next convinced him to focus on introducing this into organization and business. As his business downsized and closed the employees themselves decided who would be laid off in dialogues based upon who’s need seemed to be greater. They continued the dialogue until the business closed. When Gregg came to Victoria, B.C. to participate in our intensive he shared with us that one of his previous employees had been hired at a pharmaceutical company who then hired him to integrate a value based system of organizing and communicating. He is successfully introducing this into organization in the United States and Internationally. I am aware of some other facilitators who had a focus of taking this into business over the past 10 years beginning with simply a model of communication. Recently a company in Vancouver of 60 employees inquired about introducing a system of value based integration into their company starting first with training their managers. Their focus was on conscious management. Here is an interesting short video from Harvard Business Review called Management thought leaders share their ideas on values in business @ http://blogs.hbr.org/video/2011/09/managing-values-across-culture.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+harvardbusiness+(HBR.org)#.ToTWEzz-4UU.twitter
I have just found a video of Gregg sharing his introduction into empathy and taking it into his office as CEO – more @ http://youtu.be/m2Qb8VPOWLs
I am joining late into this conversation coming from a perspective of focusing on bringing value based learning into our B.C. Schools. I was curious about how I could enter the conversation on value based leadership and reading the recent comments I can see how to enter from this point of view. Through the process of developing a proposal for the Ministry of Education based upon learning basic skills of a value based communication system I recognized that there could be a focus of developing; dialogue times, listening and empathy skills and literacy skills in both feelings and needs.
In this system values describe the needs for humanity to exist, therefore what each person on the planet needs to survive. In communicating this way based upon common needs the focus of connection can then be on what each person can connect to individually therefore creating mutuality with autonomy. (this basic understanding of needs also becomes the roots for empathy) Based upon learning and integrating an experience of these needs together with learning the hierarchy of needs, such as Maslow’s law, you have the tools to create a connection with each other regardless of state of being. For example, when you are speaking with a homeless person who is not getting their basic needs met, they will not be settled enough to be able to hear anyone else’s perspective, let alone what you may be asking of them. Therefore value based leadership would include the ability to listen, empathize and hold the needs of the individuals equally without conflict to support ease in moving forward without having to comprimise, give in or have a certain outcome.
The value based learning culture mentioned earlier would also support dialogues structured to let every voice participate without interruption, comparisons or fixing to get all input before going into strategies. To be able to create this it would include developing listening and empathy skills which would allow the fears of individuals settle as acceptance of differences becomes an available experience. For example two cultural backgrounds and faiths would have a common understanding to connect to outside of these differences. Each one would have understanding of humanity’s needs for basic and non basic needs. It would eliminate it being about the person, their history, their faith and being different as our needs are not different.
An example as leaders in the work place could be an employee being passed up for promotion would still feel disappointed, frustrated and hurt yet with these skills would be able to recognize their needs as not being met while recognizing the employer had different needs at this time. The employer would have communication skills to support the employee through their disappointment in order to move on without pain of disconnection in their relationships.
In developing integration systems for learning needs a system of focusing on one need each week resulted. To test this out this has begun for adults and posted on social media with a daily quote that has an aspect of the need. Following the school learning year it has begun with weeks on dialogue, listening, peace and now cooperation. I am noticing others are beginning to re-post these quotes with the value focus as it pertains to their area of interest. For example: personal development, building teamwork, etc. If you would like to pursue more info – http://insideawarenessblog.wordpress.com/ or on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/insideawareness?ref=tn_tnmn
I see this as view with many pieces that begins with a bigger view and enjoy this conversation.
Renee, your body of work on Values Based Learning is very inspiring. I’d really like an opportunity to understand more about what you have currently placed in the system and where you are heading from here. Maybe we can connect through April in the near future and thanks for all you are doing to transform education in BC Schools.
I second that!
Hello Clau- I would be happy to introduce you! Could you send me an email to email@example.com Thanks!
We’ve been talking a lot about values, but how did these values originate? For a leadership style that is based on values it is important to know where those values come from. Where do values come from? How do you justify the values that you ascribe to?
If you want to know what your core values are, think back to the last time you experienced a strong emotion. Happy, Sad, Mad, or Glad, chances are, it links back to a core value you hold. When it comes to conflict, many of our conflicts have nothing to do with style, but have everything to do with values-conflicts. He values independence, she values control = conflict. She values challenge, he values harmony = conflict. The strong emotions we feel tied to core values hijacks our rational brains, making it tougher to navigate conflict. Values based leaders start by understanding their own values and those of others. As values based leaders, one of our jobs is navigating inevitable values conflicts, which are typically not right vs. wrong (it is right to value challenge, it is also right to value harmony) but right vs. right conflicts (short term vs. long term, justice vs. mercy, etc.). If we can be open to the idea that others might also be right, we can be more able to be curious about what others need from us, what they think, and what they feel, which will ultimately make us more effective as leaders.
There will alway be disparate values whenever two or more people are involved and at times, conflict can occur. It’s important to note that conflict resolution is a skill set that anyone can develop. This being said, values clashes can be palpable. In the ideology of Values Based Leadership we will always go back to “what is the mirror telling you”. In other words, what do I own to ensure a better outcome to the conversation and yes, an openness to others point of view is a great place to start. Another solution is to focus on what Covey calls “universal principles”. Simply put these are values that the world aligns on; collectively embracing them as important. Also referred to as “natural laws” things like honesty, integrity and fairness represent a few. Given the widespread acceptance of universal principles, they represent an excellent place to go back to and ground a conversation when conflict arrises.
To me, leadership is all about helping people maximize their own potential. Values-based leadership, then, should be all about helping people maximize their own potential to achieve the goals set by their own values. It’s more difficult, because people have different values; but if you find a group with the same values, their motivation will be more powerful than almost any other group you can find. It’s the values-based leader’s job to take that motivation and turn it into results.
Good morning April. I think leaders should place a high value on “openness” when values of leaders conflict. I have always laid my cards on the table to work through problems. Sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes those cards get twisted into soemthing else. Sometimes it is worth it to bring in an independant impartial third party to help you work through issues.
I would tend to agree about the openness as a value that leaders should share. But that leads me to think whether or not there are certain universal values that leaders should have. And if there are some universal values, what are they? I would love to know what your thoughts are on that. And also, having an impartial facilitator is definitely helpful in certain situations.
think all leaders should have an unwavering and powerful sense of integrity. Integrity and trust go hand in hand. Leaders need to value competency as well. In my experience, there is little point taking on a challenge if I do not have a deep understanding of the issue(s). All leaders should also be respectful, empathetic, and acountable for their actions (or inaction). I am curious to know your thoughts?
I truly struggle with this question. Mark Fernades touches on this topic a bit above, as well, where he states that there are “universal principle” which society accepts. We can use these principles as the foundation from which to build from. The dilemma I see is from a philosophical standpoint. My question would have to be, how do we understand the import of such values as honesty, openness, integrity, etc. without the existence of their opposites within the world? It is dishonesty, narrow mindedness, baseness, etc. which makes their positive counterparts beautiful. If all leaders shared a set of universal values than this perspective would be lost. It is only in the reflection of darkness we see light. What I am saying is that I do not know that I would advocate for universal values as it would lead to a complete loss of perspective as to why these values ought to be universal.
Good morning friends! Wednesday’s values-based leadership question is about conflict. What happens when values of leaders conflict? Should all leaders value “openness” as a way to navigate around this potential problem?
Quite an inspiring dialogue and all the references to authenticity, consciousness, transparency, empathy, reflection, understanding and collaboration all to an end of social good through the lens of genuine concern for both current and future generations. We (Luck Companies) define Values Based Leadership as “living, working and leading in alignment with your personal core values, principles and beliefs to in turn ignite the extraordinary potential in those around you”. This idea of working on yourself first to ensure you are leading from a place of alignment (your best authentic self) is a powerful idea and ideology that truly underpins the attributes listed above and is core to Values Based Leaders.
Values based leaders will need to embrace change and see it as an opportunity for creating a better, more sustainable world. If our real underpinning of hope is based on genuine concern for future generations, we will move toward this sustainable vision. It will take courage in the face of our environmental crisis where many people won’t want to accept change – and will go to great lengths to resist it. I’ve been starting to learn more about systems thinking and how it can increase our understanding of how everything is connected. Systems thinking helps us better understand and communicate these connections. Systems thinking should be taught in the schools. We need to consider the short term and long term consequences of our actions. In a dynamic system such as our changing world, a systems thinker/leader looks at things from a variety of angles and different points of view – often in collaboration with others.
I really like Ryan’s comment about empathy for future generations. Our actions now will have direct implication for generations to come.
Judy, thank you for sharing your wise insights on systems thinking. Any and all leaders today and into the future will need to adopt this mindset to be successful and significant in this time of global transformation. In BevShwartz’s book “Rippling” she writes “to create significant and long lasting changes, social entrepreneurs understand and often alter the social system that creates and sustains the problems in the first place”. Interestingly, Dr. Murray Bowen brought similar thinking to the world back in the 40′s with his “Bowen Family Systems Theory” where he stated “Families are systems, these systems output messages and the messages become the rules by which the system functions or becomes dysfunctional”. He goes on to say to change the function or dysfunction you have to change the messages, and to change the messages you have alter the system. We now know today that this systems theory also applies to organizations, communities and the world at large.
I think you are both are right on track with systems thinking. I particularly want to reiterate what Judy said about systems thinking being taught in schools. I think even more than it being taught, we need to alter our school systems so that they themselves model systems thinking. Our primary education system in the US right now cultivates not systems thinking but short-term, rewards thinking. Grades in high school are only useful in so much as they allow you to get to college. Then a degree from a school is only as useful as it allows you to get a career. We need to emphasize the benefits of education as a path to enlightenment for not just us personally, but our society and the world.
Hi Judy, Mark, Ryan. Great to read your comments in this discussion! I like this thread on _systems_. Entrepreneurs in this space often find themselves working with the system whilst trying to change it at the same time. No small feat! I feel a further shift in the world happening… I’ve gone from calling myself a systems-thinker to a systems-changer. I think we’ll see more of this happening…
Bonnie, I love the reframing of a “systems-thinker” to a “systems-changer”. This tension that you speak of between working within and working without the system is a delicate line to balance, but certainly one leaders must balance in order to create sustainable change. Whenever I think walking this line I am reminded of Mohandas Gandhi’s and an incident with a camera during the salt march. Gandhi himself is perceived to be anti-technological at times and yet he made sure to position himself in front of the cameras at the salt march in order to relay that information back to the British people. Gandhi recognized the importance of utilizing this new form of technology and did not ignore it on principle. For me this has always served as an example of how to work within the system while pushing the boundaries of what that means. Gandhi was operating under the framework of his own philosophical system but was willing to push the boundaries in order to further the cause of his people.
Great answer Ryan! This leads perfectly to my next question: What challenges will leaders be facing in the future as a result of the current global transformation and the exponential pace of change; and what advantage will Values Based Leaders hold in addressing these challenges?
I don’t think young people need any “new” leadership qualities as I believe these different strategies have been used time and time again. But what I would say is that young leaders need to emphasize reflection. Reflection as a means to analyze what actions you are taking and whether or not they truly align with what you are doing, and, even further, if these are the values you truly hold. An important thing to remember here though is that reflection can only happen when you have actors, so it is not simply mental voyeurism. It is the dialectic between thinking and doing.
I think the most pressing problem of the future is going to be the strain on resources. This is something that every CEO, director, entrepreneur, and politician must face. As a leader in the face of this strain that will occur, one must be an active empathizer. Thomas touched on this, but I would further reiterate the important of empathy. At our core we are relational beings and it is by nature that we seek out social interactions. Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others we come into contact with. As resources become more strained we will need to be able to relate to others in ways that allow for dialogue to continue. It is when we lose the ability to empathize that true atrocities occur such as genocide. But when I speak of empathy I don’t just mean for those we can experience within our life-time, I am thinking of our posterity as well. We need to learn to empathize with the future, become systemic thinkers who attempt to truly understand the implications of our actions on those who will come after.
Values based leadership fosters a higher sense of value and self worth in every individual. And that… is priceless.
To me, this type of leadership means developing community with transparency and consciousness. Leading with consciousness allows us to get to the root of a matter faster, because of the clarity of vision it provides. By understanding our values, and the values of others, we can organise and mobilise our communities in more effective ways. We can uncover motivation, heal discrepancies, reach agreement faster, and respect one another as co-creators.
Karin, your references to transparency and consciousness are so well placed. Transparency activates trust and consciousness leads to Values based choices, actions and behaviors. All to an end of highly engaged and effective workforces, communities etc…
Young people are on the front lines of social change and leading us all into the future. Viewed as collaborators, we all move forward together, no “us” and “them”. The ability to collaborate is vital in leadership. I agree with Our Local Markets, on transparency – this is a new way of doing things that will challenge all leaders in the future.
For future leaders “the ability to understand others–to empathize, to connect, to build relationships, to inspire–balancing your own authenticity with an openness to the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others” as Tom described will require an expanding set of skills as the workforce and ways of working continue to change. With most of the growth in the workforce over the next 10 years expected to come from non-US born workers, we’ll all be challenged to learn to really connect and atune to others whose backgrounds may be very different from ours. Being able to relate to others as truly unique individuals with unique gifts will rely less on past experiences and more on a genuine sense of the value and potential of this more diverse population.
As I read through the comments, I feel like even this dialogue demonstrates different forms of leadership… each comment with a slightly different emphasis, style, personality… The leadership opportunity that we and new leaders have is to express ourselves and help others work to their strengths, without imposing our style or even our values onto others. Values are personal. We’re all on the same page, heading roughly in the same direction, but definitely with distinct voices.
I would totally agree. It is important to respect differences because it is in dissonance that innovation occurs. Being open to learn from others even if they are unwilling to learn from you is a particularly useful skill.
I agree with you Thomas that experience is a great teacher. Although difficult at the time, being a part of a dysfunctional board is one of the most valuable experiences one can have as a leader.
Tomorrow’s leaders will need excellent communication skills. They will also need to be truly transparent. With the Internet, it is fairly easy to shine a light into a dark corner.
Leaders in the future . . . young, not so young, and in-between . . .will first need self awareness–knowing what their core values are and what their purpose is in life. They can then either seek out like minded organizations or build organizations that align with their values and their purpose. Ever worked for an organization that didn’t fit? That didn’t align with who you are as a person, or expected you to violate the things you hold dear? It leaves you empty versus full, and it’s really tough to inspire others when we’re deflated. Next, leaders will need the ability to understand others–to empathize, to connect, to build relationships, to inspire–balancing your own authenticity with an openness to the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others is one of the keys to the castle, and secrets of VBL.
My next question is, what new leadership quality do young people need to learn to equip them as future leaders? What big problems will CEOs, Executive Directors, Entrepreneurs, Politicans face in the future, and what new skills or “ways of doing things” are required?
Values-based leadership is where we share our authentic selves and put our values into action. It comes down to knowing who you are and determining what really matters to you – what it is you stand for. When we operate from a place where are values are aligned with our actions, we are authentic. This is how confidence is built and how we lead our lives with purpose. Staying true to our values isn’t always easy and is often tested – we stay grounded if we come back to those values through reflection.
Leading with values is one of the most effective methods of leadership, in my opinion. The alignment of actions with values unleashes the potential that each human has within them. First, one must introspect and determine the values that guide their life. To use a personal example, the values that guide my life are reflection, learning, compassion, and truth. Determining these values is one thing but leading with them is quite another. Your actions should constantly be measured against your values, so you lead by example. In addition to this you advocate for your values by teaching others about them and why they are important to you. While you are leading by example and advocating for what you believe in you will uncover more depth to each of the values which you hold dear.
I think we should pay more attention to this concept of values based leadership (VBL) because it connects to our humanity more so than any other style of leadership I have witnessed. What I mean by that is there are few things more powerful to humans than ideas. We live by them, we die by them. VBL turns leadership into a dedication to ideas which guide our life because we believe that these ideas are good. It also pushes for a dialogue to develop around values which encourages further understanding of one’s life and the other. This dialectic between what we believe and what others believe is part of the human condition and we are constantly trying to make sense of that condition. VBL taps into this basic motivation we all share, so it is an accessible topic for most.
I’m inspired by the statement in the open dialogue that leading with values means placing “the people’s best interests” at the top of a personal priority list. The idea of doing good to do well is very compelling to me. I truly believe that any organization and/or business that looks out for their associates and the community first (doing good) will be rewarded through this leadership to do well.
Thank you for your kind words Mark.
This is a good discussion. Over the years, I have given this subject much thought. I think that value-based leaders know themselves well…really well…and are confident enough to stand true to their values. They strive to understand issues from all perspectives. They bring out the best in everyone around them.
This comment really resonates with me “… values-based leaders know themselves well… really well…” Alludes to self-reflection. This is a really good complement to serving others and I’m paraphrasing your comment below, looking after “the people’s best interests”. Leadership acknowledges a balance or integration of self and others.
We really are in this together. I like what this competition has brought out in me. It has challenged me to give considerable thought about the reasons why I am going down the road that I have chosen. Ashoka Changemaker’s mission “to grow new ideas through transparency and collaboration” is working. Entrepeneurs usually keep their business plans close to their chests. It makes more sense to share these ideas. I hope others will see the value in our plan and also take on the challenge. Eventually we will all connect and find ways to share our resources and make a better world.
To me, leading with values means placing “the people’s best interests” at the top of my priority list. It means staying true to my goal to make a better world than the one I entered when I was born.
People that lead with values are not fence sitters. They know their position at all times. They also strive to address the root cause(s) of issues rather than applying bandade solutions. When people lead with true values, everything else around them falls into place nicely. Value-based leadership builds trust.
When I think about the leaders that I have known, less than a handful of them were good at it. Most people that seek a leadership role want to “control” things or “manage” people. In my mind, good leaders should not have a desire to “control” or “manage.” A good leader should have an open mind and seek to bring out the best in everyone around them. A value-based leader is a good leader.
Okay. I will weigh in on this. I would have a lot of difficulty arguing that anyone can offer value free leadership. To do so would mean to lead with “mathematical objectivity.” Ultimately, everyone (or anyone?) who assumes a responsibility of leadership does so because they have some normative concept of which objectives ought to be pursued. This is true even of people who present ideas that we find repulsive. So maybe this discussion about “value-based leadership” is really only useful in terms of sussing out ideological standpoints. On a purely intellectual level, I happen to think so. Although, I do recognized that consistency (in values, or anything else for that matter) is something that is itself valued from multi-partisan and cross-disciplinary perspectives. This is, for me, a reasonably compelling reason to pay attention to leadership governed by subjective values.
Hi April! To piggy-back off of Bonnie, I couldn’t agree with you more. I have experienced all types of leaders but for the most part you can tell when the really bad ones aren’t as genuine. However you have to take a step back and ask, are they not being genuine? The answer is probably yes or no depending on the person and the organization. To lead with values means to lead with a moral compass of what is right and leading with the intent of helping others and not having your own agenda.
Hi April, I’m looking forward to this dialogue. I’ve definitely experienced different types and forms of leadership in the social enterprise, innovation, and finance space. Some leaders are so far ahead of the parade, we can’t tell they’re part of the parade (modified from John Naisbitt in his book, Mind Set!) However, values-based leadership does bring to mind a sense of authenticity, openness and inclusiveness. I wonder what other folks have experienced. All the best, Bonnie
Good morning! My name is April Dutheil and I’m a community mobilizer for BC Ideas. My question is, what does it mean to lead with values? And why should we pay more attention to this concept of “values based leadership” ?