Values-Based Leadership

Alot has been written about values-based leadership. In his anticipated book From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership, Harry Kraemer, professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and former chairman and CEO of Baxter International, a multibillion-dollar health care company, argues that, as the global economy becomes even more competitive, organizations will turn to values-based leaders who, in doing the right thing, deliver outstanding and lasting results.

Kraemer knows about delivering results. During his leadership at Baxter, the company experienced consistently strong growth. And Kraemer also knows about doing the right thing; not only did he step up to the plate when things were going well but also when faced with change, controversy, and crisis, as he did throughout his career. In From Values to Action, Kraemer argues that the journey to becoming a values-based leader starts with self-reflection, which he identifies as the first of four principles that guide leaders to make choices that are aligned with their values.

The four essential principles are:

  • Self-Reflection: The ability to reflect and identify what you stand for, what your values are, and what matters most.
  • Balance and Perspective: The ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, including differing viewpoints, to gain a holistic understanding.
  • True Self-Confidence: More than mastery of certain skills, true self-confidence enables you to accept yourself as you are, recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses, and focusing on continuous improvement.
  • Genuine Humility: The ability never to forget who you are, to appreciate the value of each person in the organization, and to treat everyone respectfully.

Drawing from first-hand experience, Kraemer offers current and aspiring leaders a framework to adopt the four principles of values-based leadership to make their organizations beacons of enduring value in the world. Insightful and inspiring, From Values to Action comes at a critical time when true leadership in every facet of society is greatly needed.

Per a recent article on Kraemers book on Forbes.com The Only True Leadership Is Value-Based Leadership, Kraemer says writing the book was just the right thing to do. And that is what values-based leadership is all about. As he tell his students, becoming the best kind of leader isn’t about emulating a role model or a historic figure. Rather, your leadership must be rooted in who you are and what matters most to you. When you truly know yourself and what you stand for, it is much easier to know what to do in any situation. It always comes down to doing the right thing and doing the best you can.

In 2008 Kraemer was voted the Kellogg School professor of the year.

About ASOCIA Executives

ASOCIA  Executives, is a premier retained executive search firm with corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. ASOCIA is retained for positions from CEO to Director and Board positions, across industries. Our clients range in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-cap and private equity-backed companies. ASOCIA Executives is a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise(WBENC). www.asociaexecutives.com

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