November 27, 2013
Be honest now. Many of us say that our organizations have “values,” but how many of us know them by heart? How many of our coworkers and employees know them by heart? And presuming we and they know the “talk,” do we and they “walk the talk?” And what is the effect to our bottom lines? And finally, how can values leadership create business value?
The genesis of values
Leaders might ask themselves, What is the genesis of my values? Philosophers and sociologists such as Kant, Dewey, and Joas grounded values in self-experience of the “performance of duty” while Scheler and Taylor believed that values derive from the heart or “an orientation to the good.”1
If we accept that a leader’s values derive from the heart, then it follows that such values are derived intentionally through experience and reflection. Gilbert Fairholm of Virginia Commonwealth University defines values leadership as a “leader action to create a culture supportive of values that lead to mutual growth toward excellence and enhanced self-determination [that] requires a major shift in one’s leadership philosophy and adoption of a specific mind-set that facilitates realization of these process and outcome desires [emphasis added]”.2 Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, say that “the answers to the question of values will come only when you’re willing to take a journey through your inner territ...Read More»
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