I am in a professional leadership course and have several required reading books. This past month's book was: From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership by Harry M. Kraemer. The reasoning behind this choice was to get the class thinking about values. This book does that, and much more.
Mr Kraemer provides leadership lessons through reflecting on his experience of working his way up from cubicle life to CEO of a large company. He concentrates on 4 principles to guide values-based leaders.
The only way to meaningfully lead others, in my opinion, is to inspire, motivate, and influence the group to move the organization forward in-line with a vision and mission statement. Leaders who lead with values are able to pull this off.
The 4 principles are:
As said on p7:
Perhaps there's no greater benefit of becoming a values-based leader than setting the standard for the rest of the organization so that it, too, focuses on what matters most.
One of my favorite parts is when he describes life buckets. This is the concept that we all have 168 hrs a week to use as we desire. We plop our lives into buckets of time for the week. he describes an exercise (which I plan on publishing mine soon) where you make a table and write out a desired time for each of your identified life buckets.
From the middle part of the book, we learned the essential parts of a values-based organization:
Have Strong Values
Have a Phenomenal Team
Set a Clear Direction
Use Effective Communication
Motivate the Team
Execute and implement the strategy
Some interesting thoughts from the book (with my highlights):
If you prioritize one hundred things, then there is only [one first priority], one second-place priority, and so forth. p18
Engaging in self-reflection on a regular, ongoing bases keeps you from becoming so caught up in the momentum of the situation that you get carried away and consider actions and decision that are not aligned with who you are and what you want to do with your life. p22
Self-reflection can serve as a wake-up call [to live your life more fully in the present]. p25
Balance is the ability to see issues, problems, and questions from all angles, including from differing viewpoints, even those that are diametrically opposed to mine. p28
Listening to each team member brings another incredible advantage to any leader: it helps create a phenomenal team. p30
Leadership is not a democracy. My job as the leader is to seek input, not consensus. p31
As a leader, you must not only balance your professional and personal life but also model this thought process for others. p35
Unless you measure how you spend your time, you cannot make meaningful changes that will positively impact the quality of your life and, by extension, your leadership. p38
True self-confidence is an inner quality that establishes your leadership and enables you to empower your team. p45
...because you cannot be good at everything, you lead with your strengths and recognize those individuals who excel in areas in which you are not as proficient and whose abilities are complementary to yours. p58
Genuine humility will enhance every dimension of your life. p60
Within an organization there are no secrets. Everything you do as a leader - how you operate, how you treat people, how you present yourself - is visible to everyone. Your leadership is literally 24/7. p75
Your ability to influence people...depends significantly on their ability to appreciate your values. p79
People should know what they do well and what they don't do well, and a developmental plan should be in place to help them improve over time. p104
To know what people are really thinking, you need to make the environment safe for those who are willing to speak up and give feedback. p119
...the job of a leader is twofold. The first responsibility is to think about strategy...the second is to make sure that the team executes and implements the strategy. p154
The strategic process determines where you are today, where you want to go, and what you want to become. p156
As soon as you have [the necessary information], even if it is incomplete, [get moving!] p163
[Change + Uncertainty = Chaos]. We know there will be change; that is a given. Therefore, the less uncertainty you create, the less chaos that will result. [Your priority as a leader is to reduce the amount of uncertainty that surrounds change]. p 175
[Controversy requires swift and firm action]. p176
...it is common for leaders to confuse activity with productivity." p5