The idea of doing good and doing well is gaining momentum in the “for profit” business space as more and more organizations are understanding the need to both make meaning and make money. This same philosophy holds true for leaders as we consider the future of work and our roles in navigating this fast paced change in how we will do business going forward. Steve Denning captures this idea well in his talk “The Tipping Point in Leadership and Management” describing the current paradigm shift as a movement away from command and control of the machine toward what he terms “stewardship of the living”.
And for those of us in leadership roles, this shift is very personal.
For the last 12 years of our Values Based Leadership journey at Luck Companies we have been unequivocally committed to the belief that change must start with us, the leaders. And the commitment to serve others, become “stewards of the living”, is activated by working on ourselves first. A journey best described by Kouzes and Posner in their extraordinary book The Leadership Challenge written as follows: “The very first step on the journey is clarifying your values – discovering those fundamental beliefs that will guide your decision and actions along a path to success and significance. That involves an exploration of the inner territory where your true voice resides. It’s essential that you take yourself on this journey because it’s the only route to authenticity and because your personal values drive your commitment to the organization and to the cause. You can’t do what you say if you can’t say what you believe.”
As a leader, have you begun the inside-out process of understanding what you value, what you believe and ultimately, what difference you want to make in the world? Have you found an organization that aligns well with who you are and the impact you want to have to ensure your own life is lived meaningfully well? Similarly, as an enterprise leader have you begun the work of identifying the desired shared values, beliefs and mission of the organization to provide your associates clarity of purpose and the promise of a better future?
In our years of Values Based Leadership work at Luck Companies one thing has become quite clear, and that is the fact that all of this work begins with a choice – a conscious choice – to make a difference in the lives of others as a servant leader, an authentic leader or in our words, a values based leader.
In his book Betterness, Umair Haque talks about “a life lived meaningfully well as a consequence of human choice”. What choices will you make today?
Great post. One of the aspects of VBL that I appreciate is that it provides concrete strategies for creating alignment within organizations. It tells us how to take action on the intention of creating organizations that are life-serving, putting the concept of ‘stewardship of the living’ into practice.
Thank you John. To the surprise of most, Values Based Organizations are some of the fiercest you will encounter. They are intentional about the decisions made and actions taken, making sure that alignment is present and transparent. We are happy to have you joining us on this journey and optimistic about the positive impact VBL can have on the individual and organization.