ARTICLE: "Leaders as Value Shapers," by Kevin Freiberg, Business Ethics Annual Editions 2002-2003, 2002, pp. 96-98.
The course of a firm is directed through great leaders that understand that their capacities to shape values and educate through vivid, living, personal example. The way the firm builds its reputation is through its values. Values are the emotional rules that shape people's attitudes and behaviors.
Customers, suppliers, shareholders, and employees have to have a way to see if they are being faithful to their values, and the following is six ways to determine so:.
1. How you spend your time.
2. How you spend your money.
3. Your reaction to critical incidents.
4. What you reward and punish.
5. Questions you ask.
6. Things you measure.
There is five ways to determine the power of a strong value system and they are as follows: .
1. Build trust and confidence.
2. Foster accountability.
3. Establish a unified front.
4. Provide guidance in times of crisis.
5. Create competitive advantage.
Points of Agreement.
1. "As leaders we also need to remember that our walk talks. Everything we do and everything we choose not to do says something about what we value.".
This is a very important statement in the business world. Employees will look up to their leaders and evaluate everything that they do. This is a great tool to judge what a leader values.
2. "Values provide a framework for making choices and decisions. Values are the non-negotiables, the principles for which we stand.".
Having good values will provide a sturdy backbone for your firm to grow and prosper on. It is essential to have values that you would want your employees to model after.
3. "Leaders who live their values inspire tremendous commitment and loyalty in others. As a result, they expand their influence and their ability to effect change.".
It is through the daily choices that leaders construct the character and reputation of the organization. With these choices the whole organization will benefit.