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Leadership and Personal Values. Avimanyu Datta, College of Business, Washington State University. Introduction . Benjamin Franklin formed the Junto Goals were community fellowship and service Character was a concern His values were:. Temperance Order Resoluteness Industry

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Leadership and Personal Values

Avimanyu Datta,

College of Business,

Washington State University

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  • Benjamin Franklin formed the Junto

    • Goals were community fellowship and service

    • Character was a concern

    • His values were:

  • Temperance

  • Order

  • Resoluteness

  • Industry

  • Sincerity

  • Justice

  • Moderation

  • Cleanliness

  • Humility

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  • Some organizations view values as a requirement for success

    • Johnson & Johnson CEO James Burke took Tylenol off the market after seven people died during poisoning events

  • Results of a study of the financial performance of companies with written value statements:

    • Net income increased by a factor of 23 during a period when the GNP grow by a factor of 2.5

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  • Values are a social glue

    • They provide structure and stability for people with diverse backgrounds

  • Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, sees management values as a source of corporate identity

    • Values provide guidance for members who are independent decision makers

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  • Values:

    • Can mask hypocrisy

    • Must enter into daily practices of the organization

    • Must reflect enduring commitments

  • Leaders must:

    • Examine their own value systems

    • Put good intentions into actionsthat others can witness

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  • Things that reduce the character and strength of the organization:

    • Unclear values

    • Failure to enforce the values

    • Lack of agreement on core values

  • Author Leon Wieseltierwrote:

    • The problem with society is that people believe in too much

    • Much is too easily acquired and too thoughtlessly held

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When to Clarify or Reinforce Values

  • Red flags:

    • Members lack understanding about how they should behave as they attempt to meet goals

    • Different individuals and groups have different value systems

    • Top leaders send mixed messages about what is important

    • Day-to-day life is disorganized

    • Members complain about the organization

    • The organization has values, but does not practice them

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  • Management author Peter Drucker states:

    • Each organization has a value system influenced by its task

      • Health is the goal in every hospital in the world

    • For an organization to perform at its highest level:

      • Leaders must believe that what the organization does has value to people and society

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  • In A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM, Thomas Watson, Jr. explains the importance of values:

    • To survive and achieve success, an organization must have a sound set of values

    • Leaders must adhere to those values

    • To meet challenges, organizations must be able to change everything about itself

    • Be open to change, but always remain true to core values

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  • Watson also said that IBM was successful because of three core values:

    • Respecting the individual

    • Giving the best customer service

    • Performing every job with excellence

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Values and the Importance of Courage

  • Values in the a workplace:

    • Honesty

    • Respect

    • Service

    • Excellence

    • Integrity

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Values and the Importance of Courage

  • When people define character:

    • What they say is important

    • What they do is more important

    • What they sacrifice for is most important

  • In its highest form, character is based on a value system that is known, cherished, stated, lived, and lived habitually

  • The highest form of living by one’s values is caring to the point of personal sacrifice

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Values and the Importance of Courage

  • Character and leading by values require courage:

    • Philosopher-psychologist Rollo May explains the importance of courage:

      • Courage is the foundation that underlies and gives reality to all other virtues and values

      • Without courage, love pales into dependency and fidelity becomes conformism

  • “Courage” comes from the French word coeur meaning “heart”

    • It makes possible all the psychological virtues

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Values and the Importance of Courage

  • Leadership situations are characterized by:

    • Ambiguity

    • Uncertainty

    • Danger

  • Leaders must act in spite of these factors

  • Leadership requires courage to act and live by one’s convictions

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  • Italian diplomat and political writer Niccolo Machiavelli believed:

    • The best individuals adapt to market forces and become masters of manipulative relations

    • Flattery, deceit, and murder may be necessary to win and retain power

    • People should never cultivate private virtues that in public life would prove political suicide

    • People should develop vices if helpful to one’s rule

    • Ends justify means and might makes right

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Personal Integrity

  • German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed:

    • Human resoluteness, born of independent judgment, was the highest good

    • Individuals should be independent in thought and strong in conviction

    • Nature is filled with conflict spilling over into society

    • The best humans exhibit moral virtue (wisdom, justice, courage, and other ideals), regardless of loss or gain

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Personal Integrity

  • German philosopher Marvin Heidegger believed:

    • In the Greek ideal of nobility

    • That adhering to personal principles in the face of social pressure to conform is important

    • That personal integrity is good, regardless of the results

    • That people must choose their lifestyle and commitments carefully

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Duty and Right Action

  • Immanuel Kant, author of Criticism of Practical Reason and Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, believed:

    • People must choose the obligations that become their duty

    • People must be responsible for their own actions

    • A person with character will choose duty to conscience and will not succumb to base desires

    • Acts from a good motive and sense of duty are good, regardless of the consequences

  • This view greatly influenced Western civilization

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Duty and Right Action

  • Personal conscience and duty are seen in the words of Israeli stateswomanGolda Meir:

    • “If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it, regardless of the possible outcome”

  • When faced with an ethical question, a person with character tries to sort right from wrong

    • Traditional definitions of good have guided Western culture

    • “People must stand for something, otherwise they will fall for anything”

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Full-Swing Values

  • Full-swing values:

    • Used to assess the strength of one’s values

    • Important for people in leadership positions

    • A full-swing is needed to hit a “home run”

      • True for questions of right and wrong, good and bad

  • Axiology is a branch of philosophy dealing with values

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Full-Swing Values

  • Five Points:

    • Point 1: know one’s values

    • Point 2: cherish one’s values

    • Point 3: declare one’s values

    • Point 4: act on one’s values

    • Point 5: act habitually on one’s values

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Your Personal Value Orientation

  • Cases of Jim, Jane, Jack, Jill, and John

    • Jim-knows values, has not examined others

    • Jane-knows and cherishes values

    • Jack-knows, cherishes, and declares values

    • Jill-knows, cherishes, declares and acts on her values

    • John-knows, cherishes, declares, acts and does it habitually

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Full-Swing Values

  • In every field, the highest level of leadership isfull-swing

    • Leaders are impelled to act because the act is deemed good

    • Conscience dictates that the act is the right thing to do

  • The quality of doing the right thing for the right reason is called integrity

    • It is possessed by all truly great leaders

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Leadership and Values

  • Why is it important for an organization to have values?

  • What is the role of the leader in establishing and enforcing these values?

    • There are many ideas on these questions

    • Few are as influential as those of the philosopher Plato

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Leadership and Values

  • In Plato’s story The Republic, he retells the “Myth of Gyges” and the invisible ring

    • A shepherd finds a magic ring that makes one invisible

    • He uses the ring to eavesdrop, steal, and trespass

    • In a short time, he amasses wealth, kills the king, seduces the queen, and rules the land

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Leadership and Values

  • Moral of the story:

    • Given power without accountability, an individual may do deeds that are harmful

    • People need the values of a just society and the oversight of wise and caring leaders

    • A republic is needed for the good of all individuals

  • A leader with false or harmful values can be injurious to others

    • Hitler Stalin, and many other tyrants in history are examples

    • Hence, leaders need to be caring, good, and strong

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Leadership and Values

  • Culture shapes a leader’s values, which influences actions

    • African Society:

      • Ubuntu represents a collection of values, including harmony, compassion, respect, human dignity, and collective unity

      • Each of us is human through the humanity of other humans

    • A Zulu maxim: …a person is a person through other persons: my humanity is caught and bound inextricably in yours

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How Leader Behavior Influences

  • Leaders who are immoral and non-principled:

    • Are difficult to forgive

    • Lack moral authority

    • Are not trusted or respected

  • The leader’s values determine the rightness and wrongness of what they do

    • The leader’s actions set the tone for other’s behavior and performance on the job

    • Leaders who are honest, unselfish, and dedicated help the group succeed

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How Leader Behavior Influences

  • Warren Buffett’s order to senior managers when the took over the failed firm of Salomon:

    • Instantaneously and directly report any legal violations or moral failures by employees

  • Buffet understood that basic values are crucial for building trust

    • Honesty and responsibility are crucial for building trust, which is the bedrock of organizational survival and growth

  • Almost all business schools now require ethics courses

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How Leader Behavior Influences

  • In general, a leader’s belief or value system will determine his/her success

    • Six values of caring leaders:

      • Honesty

      • Consideration

      • Responsibility

      • Persistence

      • Excellence

      • Commitment

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How Leader Behavior Influences

  • Overall value of the caring leader is to serve

    • The caring leader focuses on the welfare of:

      • Customers

      • Employees

      • Shareholders

      • Community

  • Values affect everything a person does or is

    • What values do I wish to promote?

    • Are my actions helping accomplish that goal?

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Personal Values

  • Aspects of society require leaders to commit to certain ideals and goals

    • This is addressed in “The Study of Values” byGordon Allport, Phillip Vernon, and Gardner Lindzey

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Evaluating Personal Values

  • All values on the questionnaire are positive

  • Culture influences personal values

  • The questionnaire provides an overall value orientation

  • A person’s life allows maximum expression of personal values

  • Value systems are firm by the time most people reach adulthood

  • Different organizations reflect and endorse different value; leaders must promote the value system

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Personal Value Questionnaire

  • Points to Remember:

    • Does not measure other important factors, such as aptitude, personal interests, temperament, or morality

    • Different values can enrich a group or organization