Pandemic. Social spacing. Frozen economies. Fluctuating exchange rates. Trade disputes. Uncertainty and concern. In this great challenge, companies look like shipwrecked boats. While governments are struggling with the critical health situation, companies are stuck in an unprecedented economic context because, with small exceptions, entire sectors of activity, for a while, have nothing to do.
And yet, the compass that gives direction and meaning to any situation is held by the people, equally those in the “big team” of the company and their leaders. The latter are called upon to make decisions that will ensure the short-term survival of the company, the adjustment to the new medium-term economic environment and the necessary long-term reinvention. What is the solution? The values-based leadership.
A different philosophy of management
What is it about? Value-based leadership is a management philosophy that allows the creation and management of an energized, equipped and organized company to achieve extremely ambitious goals in times of stability, but especially in times of uncertainty. Such a company is focused on identity and mission, so who we are as a team and how we behave to produce value in a relevant way, to contribute sustainably to the community.
Leadership does not mean a position of power or the ability to make people satisfy the desires of those in leadership. Leadership means acquiring the quality of representing and influencing colleagues through personal example and actions aligned with common values so that people act with confidence in each other.
Companies are born, live and disappear in correlation with the quality of leadership. The results of the company depend on the efficiency of the leaders in creating the vision of the desired future and in building an organizational culture based on values.
A mission that honors humanity
Values-led leaders effectively involve, motivate and develop people, creating a culture that facilitates sustainable change, resulting in the effective functioning of the company, but also an exceptional level of innovation and performance.
Therefore, value-based leadership is a management philosophy that brings value to the company, consumers, suppliers, and shareholders, without focusing on the special benefits of leaders or shareholders, but solely on honoring the company’s values. This type of leadership means generating value only as part of fulfilling the company’s mission and contributing to the “better” community, honoring humanity.
Only when adopting values-driven leadership do leaders personally fulfill themselves and give leadership a lasting meaning. Through the selfless pursuit of important goals, leaders become a constant source of inspiration and have a lasting impact on teams through the valuable model they give. However high this ideal may seem, we are talking, in fact, about the fundamentals of a successful philosophy of life.
A different approach to decisions
Take the value of integrity as an example. When leaders value integrity, it propagates a belief in the company that being authentic and honest is important in social and professional relationships with others. This belief makes people look for ways to prove their integrity through words and actions. Thus, this value guides their choices through benchmarks that relate to fairness, truth, respect for the given word and commitments made.
Integrated guided choices are transferred into observable and measurable behaviors that build trust between colleagues, but also between employees and customers, suppliers and other partners. The sum of the individual behaviors results in the collective behavior aligned with this value, which determines an increased performance and, at the same time, builds a culture of trust, an environment without errors, empathetic, oriented towards creativity, innovation, and involvement.
Contrary to common thinking, organizational culture and not the strategy is the factor that produces sustainable business results. Values-led leaders create a company culture based on sustainable behaviors that give positive results and lead to success through:
- Responsibility and excellence, a combination of which results in performance
- Employees energized and motivated by the company’s mission, elements from which the involvement results
- Increasing the operational efficiency, which leads to productivity
- Improving the organizational efficiency, materialized in the control of costs
- Innovation and creativity, which lead to progress and responsibility towards the future
- Community involvement, resulting in sustainable growth
The leaders can fulfill their mission and achieve exceptional results by addressing the behavioral basis and the fundamentals of performance, that is, personal values and those shared by the whole team because values determine behaviors and they determine performance. which brings fulfillment to all people.