The Escalator Effect of Values-Based Leadership

By Maria Gamb

Values-based leadership (VBL) continues the evolution of how we choose to engage in business. It’s the next step in the integration of one of the initial Conscious Capitalism principles: Business is good, noble, and heroic because it provides ethical opportunities for everyone.

VBL expands on Conscious Capitalism using a specific, yet customizable, set of values as the platform for norms of doing business with others and internally. Each step in this leadership model leads to an organization that performs at maximum capacity.

vbl-escalator
Leadership escalator.

Within each of the five sectors, specific tasks, actions, and behaviors need to be instituted. This is the starting point of your journey. Here is an overview of what each sector means:

  • Values-Based Principles: There is a difference between what’s implied and what’s expected. Clarity on which principles are selected by each leader for themselves and their organizations is the foundation for the process.
  • Character of Leadership: You’ll hear me say many times that character can’t be faked. It can be evolved and directed in more constructive ways, but it’s not something you can fake, not for long. It is who you are. On our journey, I’ll show you how, where, and why you need to expand on who you are to become the leader others really need and want right now.
  • Building an Environment of Trust: This is the part of your company culture that’s crucial — without it, you’ll fail. Trust in the leadership, one another, and the path you’re all on together will determine how productive your teams will be. Simply put, if they don’t trust you, they most certainly won’t follow you, at least not wholeheartedly.
  • Employees Engaged: Either they’re part of the process and the organization’s success, or they aren’t. Your willingness to invest in them will speak volumes to them. That investment comes in a variety of applications, such as training, development, benefits, perks, and simply making them part of the process.
  • Performing at Maximum Capacity: The first four elements bring us to this point. Let’s reverse the thought process. Engaged employees who are actively involved in the company’s success are working from a place of trust. They are all in. This was achieved because the leader has led by example with clarity, consistency, and empathy. People love working with people who they truly believe have their best interests at heart, and not just the bottom line.

So, are you in? Your reaction to the top-level view will tell you a lot about your own capacity to evolve, change, grow, and adapt. What’s your willingness level at this point? Rank it from one to five. One means “I’m really not interested at all.” Three means, “You’ve got my attention but I’m not sure,” and five means, “I’m all in.”

If you’re at a three, teetering in either direction, read on. Fours and fives, you’re definitely in the right place.