Leadership is important for the success and growth of any business. There are varied leadership styles such as authoritative, democratic, laissez-faire etc and each has its own impact on organizational performance.
A New Concept – Values-based Leadership
New age leaders of today are exploring the concept of values-based leadership. This particular style of leadership is becoming popular as its benefits are becoming apparent with each passing day. What is values-based leadership? And why is it so successful in driving business growth?
What is Values-based Leadership?
It a leadership style that is based on the values of the leader- both personal as well as organizational. The values-based leader adheres to these values at all times. Not an easy approach, but one with immense benefits for everyone including the customers, employees as well as the organization.
To understand the concept better, let us compare values-based leadership with other leadership styles. Traditional leadership styles focus on financial results, while the values-based leader focuses on employee development, which eventually leads to desired financial results.
For instance, traditional leaders may focus on completion of a project or meeting the sales target. Their aim would be to motivate the team to achieve these results. While there is nothing wrong or negative about this approach, new age businesses demand more…much more. Enter the values-based leader.
The focus of the values-based leader is the team itself- each individual member of the team. The values leader encourages employees to give their best, unleash their creativity, and develop their latent potential. In the process, the short term targets (such as project completion, achieving sales targets) are met and clients and customers are satisfied too.
But more importantly, resourceful employees have been created who are now better equipped to meet future targets and who can ensure that customer satisfaction levels remain consistently high.
So while a traditional leader creates a one-time success, the values-based leadership style sets the stage for the long term success of the organization.
Characteristics of a Values-based Leader
- Never compromise on personal values or organizational values. They exhibit integrity and courage.
- Are committed to be of service to others- the customers, stake holders, as well as employees.
- Lead by example and exhibit qualities of dependability, initiative and persistence.
- Have a positive attitude, are enthusiastic and always offer encouragement.
- Are always there for the employees. They exhibit compassion.
- Look towards the future, creating more opportunities for growth and development of employee and thus the organization.
Values-based Leadership and Performance
Performance and bottom line results are what matter in the competitive corporate world. Does values-based leadership deliver? The answer is an emphatic Yes. Values-based leadership does deliver results and several times over. And this occurs because of 2 things.
1. Employees Trust their Leader
Leadership inspires high performance and business growth only when the following conditions are met.
- The leader motivates the team.
- The leader leads by example and inspires the team to follow.
- The leader promotes professional and personal development of individual team members.
The characteristics of the values-based leader make sure that she/he meets all these conditions. This builds trust within employees, which translates into willingness and motivation to perform. Thus it is no surprise that values-based leaders affect performance positively.
2. Leaders Trust Employees
Values-based leadership creates confidence in the leader that the employees will adhere to values communicated to them. The leader is sure that the required and expected levels of performance and customer satisfaction will be achieved. There is a high level of mutual trust that this unique leadership style instills in both leaders and team members. The net result is that leaders have more time to focus on planning for the future, creating strategies for fueling growth, making the right connections etc, all of which spell long term success for the organization.
Values-based leadership is all about authenticity and genuineness. The values-based leader by his/her actions and attitude creates a positive environment in the organization. The leader focuses on inspiring his employees to develop themselves as a means to achieving the organizational results. Naturally, this creates a special bond between the leader and employee, leading to greater employee motivation, loyalty and productivity. When every member of the team is inspired thus, the overall impact multiplies several times over creating a highly successful and well respected values driven organization.