May 3, 2022

Corporate Values: the key to good leadership

Why would a bunch of very intelligent people with free will choose to follow me?

Kenneth Frazier.

And he himself replied: "Because I am defending the values that my company have." Oh, I wish everyone who lead would ask themselves that question and I hope we reach the day where they all give the same answer.

In case someone is still wondering if values are the key to leadership, with this post we intend to make it very clear that -spoiler- they are. And no, leadership is not about power and influence or aggressiveness and ambition above all. This isn't about followers, it's about whether the individual leading is leading us off a cliff or to a better place. And we can understand "better place" as a better workplace and/or as a better and more sustainable society. Moreover, it is not the same when they follow you out of fear or because they have no other choice, than when they do so because they firmly believe in those values and want to defend them with you. Now that's magic.

Leading with values that are always present manages to guide people from coherence, reducing stress and difficulties at work and providing transparency and trust. And what results does this have? More commitment and greater job satisfaction, two of the most valuable factors we can contribute to an organization.


How to lead while always keeping your values in mind?

  • First, you have to know your values. It sounds like a platitude, but how many times have you stopped to think about your principles? They arise, you project them, they define you, but it is not the most usual thing to reflect on them proactively. So think about it because it is essential for your personal life and to know if you click with the culture of your organization.
  • You also have to know your company's values. Do your values align with those of your organization? Are those values ingrained through culture and the work environment? Are they evaluated regularly?
  • Promote a culture based on values. Help the people you lead to connect with those values. How? Well, teaching them what they are from day one. On your social networks, job offers, in interviews and, of course, during onboarding. Each person on the team needs to know how and why those values can be useful at work.
  • Give organizationally aligned feedback. The feedback is not about what you think, what you believe or what you want. Effective feedback is given from the perspective of what the organization values, its mission, its principles and its goals. In addition, in many cases, the areas of improvement of the employees reflect the weaknesses of the organization itself.
  • Look for shared values. Sometimes, there may be controversies or debates about the importance of one value or another. But we all have principles that we can share, for example: Do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you if you were in their shoes. Who likes to be left hanging with their share of a job? Or always being late, criticizing... With examples it can be much easier to find those common values.


The best leaders do not pay lip service to organizational values, they know, understand and defend them. Value-based leadership improves commitment, cohesion, and willingness to work as a team. Knowing that the individual who leads does so based on common values, motivating employees and increasing the chances of success on each objective. It also improves performance and, of course, helps people want to stay. And yes, this encourages profitability, although having values should not be about numbers.


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