Values-Based Transformational Leadership

Values are fundamental motivators for people. When values guide decision-making, they shape what emerges in action, help align ‘talk and walk’, and foster a sense of integrity. Richard Barrett most recently defined values as ‘the energetic containers of our aspirations and intentions’. See for reflection and online discussion. He’s also written a number of books, many of which I’ve listed in the bibliography available in Selected Resources – Values and Leadership following this section in my website.BVC_Stacked

Though exploring and deepening values has been important all my life, I was grateful to learn about the important research, writing, and training provided by the Barrett Values Centre (BVC), especially Richard Barrett’s research into the levels of consciousness and need reflected in various values.  Though I became a Certified Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT) Consultant with BVC in 2006, I’ve continued to learn from their cutting-edge work ever since. Consultant_Black

Oh my Home Page, I described the COVID-19 Cultural Values Assessment conducted in the spring of 2020, and I provided an article about the assessment results, written by Diane Kalen-Sukra, another CTT Consultant. Those results were significant, Global_COVID_Assessment_Logoand I’m providing the article in this section, too. COVID Values Revolution – Civic Resilience Columnist – Diane Kalen-Sukra – PSD – Aug 2020


Finally – regarding values assessments, if you’d like to explore your own top ten values, please consider taking the (free) Personal Values Assessment available on the Barrett Values Center website Personal Values Assessment at BVC. Not only will you receive a report addressing your values, but also, you’ll be given some tools to help you work with your values. If family members or friends take the assessment, too, you can share results with each other.

Moving on, transformation involves much more than ordinary change. When something or someone is transformed, there is no going back to the old ways – just as the ingredients in a cake can’t be reclaimed after the cake is baked. Something new is created. That can be scary, but when experienced as a collective adventure that makes a positive contribution, I think people can rise to the occasion.

Some models of leadership call for collaboration, teamwork, and shared values in achieving whatever has been declared important and purposeful. However, in too many cases, that call ultimately is marginalized and deemed ‘soft’ or irrelevant to achieving desired results. I disagree with that view.

It think that marginalizing values and discounting true collaboration, when striving for improvement or progress, only alienate people who long to make a difference, share their gifts and skills, and participate in something meaningful. They feel helpless, disempowered, discouraged, and discounted. That situation needs to be transformed and called into service for the greater good.

We have values in several areas of our lives: personal values that guide and influence our individual lives; values that guide and influence how we relate interpersonally with others; and collective values that emerge in families, organizations, institutions, and societies. Ideally, we participate in choosing collective values. Otherwise, we must determine whether those collective values align with our own.

Many leadership roles I held in high school, university, business, and community organizations were based on collaboration and values, and they did make a difference. While at the Union Pacific, I was involved in leadership aimed at cultural and organizational effectiveness, and values were part of that. When I received my Masters in Human Relations, organizational transformation was a core component.

Several difficult decisions I’ve made over the years have centered on whether certain situations had begun to compromise my values and sense of integrity. It’s very challenging to discern when to ‘hang in there’ with perseverance and when to say ‘no’ to something that threatens one’s sense of integrity.

Please explore the selected values resources I’ve provided. They always can be updated and improved, but they’re a good start.



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