Future Fit # 15: On becoming an adaptive leader:Values, values, values.

TomorrowToday has promised to help you start the journey towards being future fit – to becoming an adaptive leader. Being merely a ‘good leader’ will not suffice when it comes to meeting the challenge of the future. You will need to be a great leader and a ‘great leader’ is someone who understanding and practices adaptive leadership. This is part of a ‘boot camp’ through which we help you begin the journey of becoming future fit; we help you in the process of becoming an adaptive leader. Each ‘session’ is designed around a thought-bullet (Head) and an action point (Hand) – something to think about and something to try out. We have promised to keep the ‘head’ part to under a minute and the practical part (hand)…well, that is up to you.

ladders into the skyFuture Fit # 15:  Values, values, values.

Values inform our attitudes and ultimately drive behaviour. Every organisation espouses a well-articulated set of values; many fail to translate their values into tangible, practical behaviours. It is almost as if having identified ‘our values’ is enough; the work stops there. Smart leaders know that values have to be lived and that your company’s values are to the company what the heart is to the body. Translating your values into daily action requires consistent work rather than the sporadic and often artificial attention accorded to the values. I once heard an employee saying that the CEO was, “the guy in the blue shirt who is always talking about the values”.  Ensuring the transfer of the values into the daily behaviour and practice permeating the company is the Leader’s responsibility. Of course smart leaders know that the extended ripple of this responsibility to and through others is really what will ensure that the company’s values are evidenced throughout the organisation.

Think about how you can refocus energy around your company’s values. Create an agenda item for your next team meeting where you discuss one of the values. Do this in successive meetings until you have worked through each of your values. Ask how each person interprets this value in their own behaviour at work; ask for stories that exhibit whether or not this value is being lived and practiced; explore what this value means in your context and whether or not it is meaningful. Doing this ‘one value at a time’ and over a period of time will help deepen the discussion and also contribute to it feeling more natural – as something we do when we meet. Encourage this the cascading of this practice and be alert to the feedback. Make values part of ‘what we do and how we do it’.

Index of Adaptive Leader series
Click here to see the full list of the Future Fit ‘sessions’


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