Archive for March, 2010

Leadership and Values

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: 1 | Tags: |

Now the theme of this blog is leadership and it seems that there has been a theme of recent posts:

they have been about value driven or value centred leadership.

Is this consistent with what you have seen and heard recently in other areas? In books you have read? Conversations you have heard and/or been having?

Michael Boyatzis wrote “Becoming a Resonant Leader”, Stephen Covey has written “Principle Centred Leadership”, and many books such as “Synchronicity” discuss the principles behind leadership. And that is just to name a (very) few that I am aware of. So is this a trend or just an area I am interested in and am therefore finding all around me. (just like when you buy a red car you suddenly seem to notice more red cars on the road)

So what does this mean for us as leaders?

Well, it gives an indication that our peers and teams are looking for more than technical or situational leadership.

We are looked to as leaders for guidance on doing what is right. Do you remember the phrase about doing things right or doing the right thing?

That is probably a good way of differentiating between value driven leadership (doing the right thing) and efficient management (doing things right). Once again effectiveness and efficiency seem to be head to head.

The question is about which values to follow: our personal ones or those of the company?

If good leadership is about personal values how can we ensure that teams and individuals see and experience consistent values and principles?

Surely if we all lead by our individual values that could become confusing and possibly conflicting for members of our teams. And imagine a leadership team of people with very diverse value sets – and it may not necessarily be a bad thing depending on how transparent those values are and how we identify and address any conflicts.

What do you think? My analysis is that value centred leadership is a key approach to leadership as it can provide a sound basis or touch point to resolve leadership challenges and dilemmas. My view is that it needs to be nested in the values of the company and assumes a set of values within each of us as individuals that is relatively consistent and compatible.

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