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Of the many types of leadership, those who follow the guidelines of values-based leadership not only strive for success themselves, but realise the importance of facilitating it in others.
How do they do this?
Through a set of principles, some of which can be found in other styles of leadership, that combine to place the emphasis on how the success of others ultimately leads to their own success, and that of their organisation.
1. Appreciation of others
An understanding of how every person within an organisation adds a certain value to it, and an appreciation of every individual, is inherent to a values-based leader. They know that something is only as good as the sum of its parts.
2. Putting the right people in the right jobs
Through placing people in roles that suit both their skills and their interests allows not only for greater productivity, but greater employee satisfaction. High levels of satisfaction within the workplace encourage a humming company culture, which leads to shared success of the company.
3. Encouraging diversity
If you have the same type of person performing the same set of actions, day after day, you’ll inevitably get the same results. Encouraging diversity leads to fresh ideas, innovative solutions and an engaging work environment.
4. Knowing that success is contagious
Encouraging the success of each individual creates a ripple effect that moves through an organisation and spurs all company members to be as good at their job as the person next to them.
Values-based leaders know how to reflect on their own, as well as a company’s, identity. They’re able to create and maintain a clear vision of what they stand for and what matters most in order to make more informed and well-aligned decisions. Which is exactly why self-reflection exercises are built in to the online executive education courses offered by UCT’s Graduate School of Business, for example.
6. Being confident in their own abilities and taking responsibility
This goes beyond advanced technical abilities and includes the ability to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses, and dedicate themselves to continuous improvement. This allows values-based leaders to take personal responsibility for the results of their organisation.
7. Keeping things in perspective
Being able to see a situation from all points of view to create a holistic understanding of it allows for more informed, effective decision-making. These decisions will then not only benefit one individual, but rather everyone within the organisation.
8. Encouraging feedback
In order for a company and its employees to move forward, there needs to be a refusal to continue with ineffective strategies, systems, and culture. Whereas strategies and systems affect the performance of a company to a larger extent, culture has a drastic impact on how people work, and feel, within an organisation.
9. Choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong
Being true to your values means that sometimes doing the right thing is not going to correlate with making the easiest decision. Sometimes, the goals and vision of an individual employee will diverge from the overarching ones of an organisation. The correct, but harder, response to this is to address the situation immediately, instead of ignoring its existence and impact.
10. Committing to renewal
Accepting the fact that things will not always be the way they are now, and that strategies, goals, and the needs of employees will change over time, means that adaptations can be made to ensure relevance.
And lastly — maybe even most importantly…
11. They allow their absence to show their true effectiveness
The true evidence of any leader’s effectiveness can be seen when they are not around.
Values-based leaders, through keeping the focus off themselves and transferring it to employees and the importance of company values, inspire an environment where employees inspire each other to work effectively, with or without that leader being present.