Real leaders encourage their teams to symbolize the qualities and values that the brand and its visionaries stand for. Some of the best transformational leaders in India imbibe a value-driven leadership style to foster a culture of excellence and success. This type of leadership enhances the teams’ cohesiveness and willingness to give it their best, as they know that their leaders embody similar values, thereby, increasing the chances of success.
The best transformational leaders in India such as Sanjiv Bajaj have often thrown light on empowering the right people to think like leaders. When you exhibit the same values, together as a team, you are always on the same page and achieve success with the very first goal.
Outline and breathe your Values
The first step towards achieving success is defining your values and clarifying your purpose of existence so your employees and clients can resonate with you. An organization’s values reflect its culture. The lack of values speaks volumes about the functioning of the company and is not viewed favourably by investors, employees, or customers.
How does value-driven leadership enable success?
There are many tangible benefits of this kind of leadership
• Risk Moderation:
During a time of crisis, values come to the rescue by providing clarity. A great visionary leaders, James Burke, former CEO of Johnson & Johnson handled the ‘Tylenol Crisis’ by staying true to his values. When seven customers died due to cyanide-laced Tylenol tablets, the market share of this medicine dropped to 7% from 35%. The company shelled out $100 million to recall the medicines, only to relaunch it two months later in tamper-proof packaging. They were able to regain their market share by 1983 making it one of the most high-profile cases that averted a huge crisis by acting through values.
• Customer Loyalty:
Customers are becoming increasingly ‘woke’ and want to be associated with products and services that stand for a belief in something. They often use social platforms to voice their opinions, and their perspectives do influence consumer spending. Just like James Burke’s actions were value-driven, Turing Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, took decisions that deemed them a ‘cultureless’ organisation. In September 2015, they obtained the American marketing rights of Daraprim and increased the price from $13.50 to almost $750 making it unaffordable for those who required it the most. The social media backlash against Martin Shkreli was instant and vehement and he came to be known as the “most hated man in America.”
• Employee Attraction & Retention:
Employees want to be associated with companies that have a reputation for being true to something. The values a company endorses are definitely a part of their consideration set when they are shortlisting companies to kick-start and advance their careers. Some of the famous transformational leaders in India such as Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Sanjiv Bajaj, Anand Mahindra, and the likes exhibited their leadership skills beyond their workplace and to the society, they are part of. This was evident through their philanthropy initiatives and donations to help alleviate the COVID-19 situation. Safeguarding their employees became a prime concern and such behaviour does not go unnoticed when potential employees are looking to join a company.
• Enhanced Communication:
Value-driven leadership enhances communication by aligning the organisational values with those of the employees. This inculcates free and unhinged communication, both on the inside and the outside. Value-driven leaders ensure that their motives and beliefs are publicly known, thereby winning the loyalty of customers with similar beliefs. A customer is no longer just a ‘buyer’ but is more engaged with brands that stand for something significant.
• Improved Output:
When teams realise that they have more in common with their leaders, it establishes unsaid trust. The feeling of commonality drives employee satisfaction and increases productivity. When values are aligned, the employees strive to fulfil their goals, eventually realising the company’s mission based on their common underlying principles. They want to see the company succeed and actively become a part of its success.
Value-driven leadership instils a sense of purpose in the entire organisation. This enables better decision-making through intuitive understanding without the guidance of the executives. The external stakeholders also prefer being associated with a brand that stands for something.
The entire foundation of value-driven leadership is laid on setting the direction, creating a proactive culture, betterment of employees, and expanding opportunities. Long-term business leaders define a value statement that acts as a guiding principle for employees, bringing out the required behaviours and decision-making techniques. When the team sees their managers lead by example, striving to live up to the company’s values, they become proactive and follow the same path.
Values cannot be delegated by leaders and instead, need to be brought to life through the leadership style adopted. The employees then get to experience and live by these values as part of their daily work. This results in them dealing with end customers and achieving organisational excellence and success by representing these values.