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Values based leadership; the future of leadership?

March 4th, 2013

I have written a lot recently about leadership and what makes a good leader, especially in the context of the recent reports into public sector performance culture.  I believe that it is now time to ditch the traditional, transformational and transactional models of leadership and move to (or perhaps return to) values based leadership.

OK, that all sounds good, but what are you on about I imagine you saying.   At the heart of values based leadership is, rather unsurprisingly, a core set of values.

  • Environmental
  • Personal
  • Professional
  • Organisational

Lets take one of the areas of the framework above and explore how it expands (again not to completion).


An exponent of values based leadership will:

  • recognise the importance of creating an environment where peers, employees and their managers are open to giving and receiving feedback.
  • create an environment where individuals who are not performing are visibly dealt but not at the expense of that individual’s self esteem.
  • reward hard work in the most appropriate manner.

The above shows some of the environmental values that could be found in a values based leadership framework.

So now we have a set of values, what do we do with them? This is quite simple; you add it to the decision making model that the leader uses.

It is more often than not the decisions that leaders make in an organisation that are the most visible representation of a leader on the factory floor.  It is also these decisions that influence the quality of client or customer experience.  So it is the decisions that need to be influenced by the values touched upon above.

Decision Making

As can be seen from the above.  The valuse based leadership model generates decisions through considering, policy & legislation, the situation and the values as defined in the values based leadership framework.  All of these elements are distilled by the leader and a decision is made that is as equally influenced by values as it is by policy or legislation.

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