This past week the article, Why Leaders Lose their Way by Bill George crossed my desk and caused me to reflect more deeply on the concept of values-based leadership among his three reasons.
Bill George wrote: “Leaders need to devote themselves to personal development that cultivates their inner compass or True North. This requires reframing their leadership from being heroes to being servants of the people they lead.”
How does one cultivate an inner compass? Can one do it on one’s own? I don’t think so! It’s about who one is innately, both personally and professionally. It is about a committed effort to align one values with one’s position and that position cause and effect on those who the leader leads.
This effort of “values alignment” cannot be made by oneself. This “alignment” needs values based confidants, role models, exemplary colleagues and a process for ongoing discernment of one’s values and their implications in one’s leadership style. This discernment must be a proactive approach to one’s leadership effectiveness by having people that “are for you” as a person and colleague, as part of any leadership development initiative.
On the other of this issue is what are the obligations or responsibilities of companies to provide this type of “values support” for its leaders? Wouldn’t this be a very cost-effective investment to reinforce the importance and the priority of having values-based leaders in positions of authority continually?