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I just finished Harry M. Kraemer's book From Values to Action: the four principles of Values-Based Leadership and found it very insightful. Here are my take-aways from his book.

Leadership is the opprotunity to influence people. A values-driven leader's actions inspire employees by example and motivate them to do good things and focus on what truly counts. 

Leadership is not about the leader. Leadership is about the growth and positive change that a leader can bring while working with others.

People hunger for authentic leaders who have core values and strong ethics. (Interested in creating values? Click HERE)

Kraemer points to four basic and key principles that values-based leadership rests on:

1. Self - Reflection 

Self-reflective leaders know their priorities, values, and ethical boundaries. A leader should find a quiet place and take time to think. Ask yourself daily:

- "What did I say I was going to do today, and what did I actually do?"

- "What went well, and what did not?"

- "What did I learn today that will have an impact on how I live the next day, the next week and going forward?"

2. Balance and Perspective 

A good leader requires balance and perspective. This means leaders should welcome numerous viewpoints, including those that differ from their own. Their primary concern is not to be right but to do the right thing. This means their staff members feel comfortable speaking their minds and don't worry that their leader will think less of them for presenting different ideas. 

The temptation is to delegate, which in itself is a good thing, but not when it gets to the point that the leader has lost touch with what is happening day to day

3. True Self Confidence

A good leader knowns his own wroth and his strong points, as well as his weaknesses. True self-confidence is the opposite of "false-confidence," which is empty bravado. People with false self-confidence feel they are right and everyone else is wrong. True self-confidence is not just inner fortitude; it is fortitude based on being competent in all the important areas of your life.  

4. Genuine Humility

Most CEOs pinpoint their attention on doing the best possible job, and that this focus - not excess ambition - explains why they attained executive positions. Indeed, unbridled ambition turns people off, but followers flock to those who are confident and yet act with genuine humility. 

None of use will ever get everything done; therefore, the key is to consider the trade-offs among what needs to be accomplished immediately and what can wait another day. 


A value based leader doesn't fear a challenge; a humble CEO doesn't always have to be right.

Strong leaders set a "clear direction" and ensure that everyone understands where the organization is heading and what it wants to achieve.