At this year’s International Leadership Week (Nov 18-21, 2019), The Institute and our speakers are exploring organisational and personal values. Ahead of the event, some of the most authoritative, world-renowned, thought-leadership voices speaking during the week have given The Institute a sneak preview of their thoughts. Here, in the second in this exclusive series of blogs, Maria Gamb discusses how important it is that organisational values reflect those of Millennials.
As the world’s largest demographic, the Millennial generation, continues to enter the workforce, the very concept of how businesses and leadership will work will evolve to suit their needs.
For this group we are now moving beyond the initial desire for work to have meaning, and entering a more expansive phase based on values-based leadership (VBL); this is the evolution of how we choose to engage in business-building of many of the initial conscious capitalism principles, that business is good, noble and heroic because it provides ethical opportunities for others.
This values-based leadership offers details on these principles by establishing a very deliberate mechanism of setting a specific yet customisable set of values as the platform for norms of doing business with others, as well as for the internal operation of the organisation. Each step in this leadership model builds towards the delivery of an organisation that performs at maximum capacity and is still human.
There are five foundational components to creating leaders and organisations based on values:
- Values-based philosophies and guidelines – create clarity between what is an implied value and what is a deliberate value for yourself and your employees. Keep it simple and straightforward - this is a foundational building block. If you believe in fairness it will need to be a value that permeates how you engage vendors, employees and the greater community.
- Leadership character – character can’t be faked. It is an aspect of one’s personality that can be evolved and honed, but it’s not something you can fake, not for long. In a values-based organisation (VBO) projecting a character of fairness, equality and patience encourages others to embrace the same behaviors.
- Building an environment of trust – this is the part of your company culture that, without it, it will fail. Trust in the leadership, one another and the path you’re all on together will determine how productive your teams will be. This includes establishing guidelines for job responsibilities so your employees trust that they can achieve objectives and meet expectations. Simply put, if they don’t trust you, they most certainly won’t follow you – not wholeheartedly.
- Employee engagement – either they are part of the process and an integral part of the organisation’s success or they aren’t. Your willingness to invest in them will speak volumes. That investment comes in a variety of applications such as training, development, benefits, perks and simply making them part of the process. Inclusion takes on new meaning when considered in this way.
- Performing at maximum capacity – the four prior components 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 led by example with clarity, consistency and empathy. People love working with people they truly believe have their best interests at heart – not just the bottom line.
So, are you in? Your reaction to this top-level view will tell you a lot about your own capacity to evolve, change, grow and adapt as a leader. What is your willingness level at this point? Rank it from one to five. One being: I’m really not interested at all. Three being: you’ve got my attention but I’m not sure. Five: I’m all in.
If you scored three or more - please join me for my free webinar during International Leadership Week on November 20, 1pm GMT/8am EST ‘Leading Millennials: a values-based approach’, to learn more.