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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Traits of a value based Leader.

Values-based leaders are relatively a new breed of managers that break away from the more traditional 20th century leaders. These 20th century leaders are described as being all about the corporate game and conforming to the convention that overtook most companies as the economy globalized and grew, even if that meant abandoning their core values in the process.

What sets values-based leaders apart is that they are always trying to cultivate change in the business world by sticking to their values, despite the results-driven world around them. Obviously the goal is to make money and be successful, but that tends to be more of a necessary, secondary goal as opposed to the reason why they do what they do.

While values-based leadership may not be as profitable as the traditional style, what it can do is foster an environment of people that love working for a company that actually tries to do good in the world. Employees of these companies tend to be more satisfied, and stay at the company longer. There are certain principles that most values-based leaders have that set them apart from all other managers:

#1 – Maintain consistent self-reflection
The first step in becoming a great values-based leader is to figure out what your own values are. What do you truly stand for? What matters most to you? After all, it would be pretty tough to attempt to run a company based on values when you’re not even sure what they are.

One of the main objectives of self-reflection is to become more self-aware. In order to truly be a good leader, it’s imperative that you are aware of yourself so that you can work to constantly improve yourself. If you aren't aware of your own strengths, beliefs, and areas that could use improvement, then it’s going to be very tough to lead an entire company of individuals.

#2 – Maintain an open mind
One of the biggest downsides of the older, more traditional style of doing business is that leaders tend to be very narrow-minded. Whenever new ideas or suggestions arise, the response tends to be, “But this is the way we always do things.” Values-based leaders, on the other hand, understand the importance of looking at multiple perspectives and genuinely considering new ideas.

Chances are as a leader you will have great ideas of your own that you think will be the right way to go. Nevertheless, values-based leaders know that balance is the key to any good business, and that others may indeed have an idea or improvement that works better.

#3 – Have confidence in your choices
Values-based leadership can only be successful if the leader in charge truly believes what he or she is doing is right. It’s important to recognize where you excel in business and as a leader, and where your shortcomings are. More traditional leaders are generally seen as the perfect boss (despite being sometimes heavily flawed) whereas values-based leaders are constantly striving to improve themselves. It’s important to understand that you are not perfect, but also to be fine with that and commit to your choices.

#4 – Never forget where you came from
Your values are constructed through the experiences in your past, so it’s vital not to lose sight of where you came from. When traditional leaders get to the top they tend to give off the impression that they've been at the top of the ladder all of their lives and that they’re in a higher class of person. Values-based leaders on the other hand recognize the positive influences of their past and appreciate the journey that they took to get to where they are.

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