Posted on January 28, 2010 in Articles, Values by Rachael

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At times of uncertainty when most things around us seems less reliable, less predictable, our values hold us at the quiet centre of the storm. This is true both at the organisational and the personal level.

For the organisation, values are the ship’s compass by which it defines itself – or redefines itself – when pushed off course.

Holding the sure centre of values is also true at the individual level – the values led leader can be relied on and will offer certainty to those around her, because she has a sure footed, authentic inner core of quiet strength.

In the current challenging business climate, it would be too much to ask that a leader remain unaffected by the change being experienced in some of our organisations, as she struggles to adapt and respond to the external challenges.

However, at a time of crisis a values led leader is more likely to trust her inner compass, and not be pushed off course by external events.

What is also clear is that businesses want and need leaders who have a strong sense of personal values, in order to steer them through to calmer post recessionary waters, where questions about values will become a key criteria by which we all start to judge organisations.

And as a leader, honing up your values, and building emotional resiliance and resources by working with a coach who is willing to partner you in your ambition to be a “Values led Leader” can be a great way of developing that steadying centre.

Here is a case study of an engineering consultancy client, where I worked with the leadership team to help them redefine and bring alive their values. Take a look at case study 3.

And here is Harvard Business School professor Bill George, warming to this theme in his new book: “Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis”

“There is a noticeable void today of principle-driven leadership in business and society. In the depths of a major crisis—much like the one we’re in now—is where a principled approach to leadership and decision-making is most needed. The leaders who successfully navigate their organizations through crises are ones who focused on their leadership principles and stayed true to their values. Only by practicing a clear set of principles can we ensure that the recovery is long-lasting and that future business is sustainable. As a society, we need to get back to practicing values-centered leadership. That’s the only way we can restore integrity to leadership.”

Here’s the full article: