Definition of values-based leadership

Motivating employees by connecting organisational goals to employees’ personal values.

Values-based leaders communicate organisational values that tell members how to behave in order to fulfil the organisation’s mission. They talk about these values in a way that connects with employees’ personal values, so that employees come to identify strongly with both the organisation and its mission. Such leaders focus on core values - the enduring guiding principles that capture the organisation’s strengths and character. Because the core values represent the soul of the organisation, they are likely to remain steadfast in the face of changing market trends and fads.

In order for employees to believe in the sincerity and depth of the organisation’s values, the leadership team must lead by example and communicate the values on an ongoing basis to the entire workforce. The values’ effectiveness lies in how well they are embodied by the organisation as a whole.

Example

The Boeing Company has carefully defined its core values by establishing high standards in areas such as corporate citizenship, diversity management, and customer satisfaction. Boeing, which describes its employees as its competitive advantage, also strongly emphasises its commitment to fostering a participatory workplace characterised by co-operation and idea sharing.

Boeing has also demonstrated its commitment to the broader community by making pledges to protect the environment and supporting causes including education, for example. [1]

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