What is Values Based
Leadership and can it improve
your bottom line?
Most business leaders have long understood that their people are their most valuable asset, and they invest significantly in recruitment, development, and retention efforts. While there is no doubt that traditional employee engagement efforts impact productivity, performance and profitability, we are in a new era of employer-employee relations and leading through change.
Navigating change successfully has never been more crucial, and that’s where Values Based Leadership (VBL) comes in. During the pandemic, Fortune magazine surveyed more than 200 CEOs, asking, “What is the single-most important thing the crisis has taught you?” One of the top answers was, “Leadership and values matter always, but especially in a crisis.” At InnerWill, we partner with our clients to ensure positive organizational outcomes through VBL development, a leadership approach that means choosing to live, work, and lead in alignment with our core values and igniting the potential of others by helping them do the same.
A broad range of research from scientists such as Jim Kouzes, Milton Rokeach, and William Gardner has shown that when we act on our values, we feel less anxiety and more security. We perform better. We are more confident in our decisions. We are ultimately more effective in the eyes of others, especially when our words match our actions. When we walk our talk, others trust us, even if they disagree with us. We experience less conflict because others know what to expect from us and our behavior is consistent. More often than not, we are the best version of ourselves. VBL has helped countless individuals, families and businesses throughout America and beyond tackle some of the key concerns that are plaguing so many companies right now.
- Are you concerned about attracting and retaining top talent?
- Do you have the leadership horsepower necessary to tackle future challenges?
- Is your organization aligned and able to bridge the gap between strategy development and its practical day-to-day implementation?
Need further convincing? Check out the Impact of VBL here.
Why is VBL Important?
When we live, work, and lead in alignment with our core values, others see us doing so. In small and large ways, we set an example to others to be authentic and to act on what is most important to them. Setting an example—or modeling—is one of the most powerful teaching tools.
As formal leaders, we are always onstage with an audience paying attention to our words and actions. When there is agreement, the audience is moved. When there is a break between who we say we are and what we do, the audience is at best annoyed and at worst distrustful. Sometimes the audience adopts our beliefs, and sometimes they don’t. The lesson is not for the audience to value the same things we do but to discover what they value and learn that they can be their true selves. They can live, work, and lead in alignment with their core values. When they do, they will perform at a higher level and get better results. In some ways, this is enough to tap into the audience’s potential, to help them discover the best version of themselves. In other ways, the audience will also require support, feedback, challenges, and transparency about their own struggles.
What are the challenges of VBL?
- It is one thing to identify your values and put them up on the wall, it is another to actively operationalize your values so that they are consistently acted on at every level. Optimal performance requires the alignment of business strategy, culture, and leadership practices. Once an organization has defined its mission, vision, and strategic objectives, a supporting culture must be established to reinforce those outcomes. InnerWill has helped hundreds of organizations do just that.
- Although the practices of VBL can be used by leaders at any stage of their lives, these practices are hard. Like building any new skill, they take discipline, effort, and most of all, practice over time. As human beings, we are messy works in progress, and sometimes we fail. Yet, with time and effort, we can all be more effective if we can make a few more leadership choices that line up with the person we want to be and the impact we want to have. The Five Practices of VBL do work if you do the work.
- There is always room for growth, so while you can get better and better at employing VBL practices, you will never be done learning and growing.
What are the rewards of VBL?
VBL will make you strong enough for today and brave enough for tomorrow.
InnerWill’s Leadership programs and services are designed and tested to be accessible, practical, and to achieve transformative change.
VBL teaches leaders the life-changing skills needed to be more effective, influential, and resilient. Our methods result in businesses that are more aligned, more engaging, and more productive, resulting in a better bottom line.