Why a Values-Based Approach to Leadership is So Important

Are you a Values-Based Leader?

What elements comprise two terms like values-based leadership? Fourteen values are offered and briefly in the article the three unifying factors are mentioned and discussed; these are interaction(s) and relationship, character and values. I believe these values are what drive one to make correct choices, act wisely, and make a decision that is beneficial to him or her and to those they care about. These are all related, but they are interdependent on each other.

Getting Started

The first step of values based leadership is to encourage team members to share their personal values with the team so that the whole team becomes a community. When team members have a strong commitment to their values and are willing to risk their own values to support the team, business leaders can be more successful. A commitment to values also provides for the building of trust, the cornerstone of which is strong communication. Without this, it’s difficult to motivate team members to take the needed action. Trust and communication are fundamental to success.

Who Can Benefit From Values-Based Leadership

Values-based leadership is important to both large and small businesses. Small businesses that seem to have the ability to make wise decisions quickly without much direction need to model this kind of leadership in their company. Likewise, businesses with employees that don’t seem to have the same values as the leadership may not get the results they desire. On the larger scale, it is necessary for businesses with managers who don’t seem to have values in place, to take a leadership course and model the right thing. Even the most seemingly intelligent business leader needs to be reminded sometimes.


What's the Difference?

There is a tension between what is called leadership and values-based leadership. Often, the organization will drift from values-based leadership into a group of values dedicated leaders. This can create problems because the business leaders believe that they are making the right thing, but they are really not. They have a false sense of reality, and when challenged, they become defensive. They are not following the proper guidelines for their business, and as a result, they undermine the effectiveness of the overall effort.

The Benefits of Values-Based Leadership

When organizations move from values-based leadership to a group of values-driven leaders, they usually experience a change in direction and purpose. This may not occur in a gradual manner, but it can happen. For example, the advent of a new product line, a new company mission, or even a new company focus, can prompt members to reexamine their values and their leadership roles. In many cases, these changes result in positive organizational growth, which makes it easier for companies to adapt to new circumstances.


Final Thoughts

Again, all of this takes place based on what people expect to hear and what they really want. If there is no authentic humility or sincerity in a leader, people will search for someone else who will provide this leadership. As a result, a company’s direction and its efforts may actually go in the opposite direction. It can become what is sometimes referred to as a “cavalier leadership style”. But, if an organization adopts a true self-confidence, integrity, and genuine humility approach to values-based leadership, it will be able to overcome the occasional crises that may occur.