My six primary tasks as a leader is

In a cynical world where ruthless exploitation and focus on max profit, self-serving behaviours and instability seem to be the norms. In my 16 years as an executive director I have always been preaching of the importance of value based leadership.
For me there have been six primary tasks as a leader:
  • Inspire
    Leaders who recognize and reward employees’ achievements are able to inspire commitment from their subordinates. These leaders publicly praise others for their performance, understand what motivates other people to perform at their best and provide tangible rewards for significant organizational achievements.
  • Leading employees
    Leaders who have good skills in directing and motivating people know how to interact with staff in ways that motivate them. They delegate to employees effectively, broaden employee opportunities, act with fairness toward direct reports and hire talented people for their teams.
  • Strategic planning
    This skill involves translating vision into realistic business strategies. Leaders who are highly competent in this area typically articulate long-term objectives and strategies, develop plans that balance long-term goals with immediate needs, update plans to reflect changing circumstances and develop plans that contain contingencies for future changes.
  • Change Management
    Skilled leaders have developed effective strategies for facilitating organizational change. Such a leader’s views change positively, adapts plans as necessary, manages others’ resistance to change, adapts to the changing external pressures facing the organization and involves others in the design and implementation of change.
  •  Employee development
    A skilled leader in employee development usually coach’s employees to improve performance, provides employees with guidance, encourages employees to develop careers and makes sure employees understand their roles. This is one of the area that I have work a lot with. I have implemented mentor program and coaching processes for several companies. And worked as a mentor for students at the Norwegian school of management, and currently serve as a mentor for students at University of East London, London, United Kingdom.
  • Self-awareness
    This skill involves recognizing personal limits and strengths. Self-aware leaders admit personal mistakes, learn from mistakes, seek ongoing feedback and know themselves well. If you can sharpen your skills in these areas, you’ll improve your ability to address complex future challenges—and set yourself apart. In the period of 1999 until 2010 I had a mentor, Mr. Bård Mikkelsen, former President & CEO of Statkraft.  In 1999 it was very few who had a mentor in Norway. Self-development and assessment has been an important part of the self-awareness for meg. Therefore, I wanted to have a mentor who could challenge him to go further and reach new goals. In 1999, when I started to be a mentee I had no educations, and after two years I started his academic journey, and in 2015 I completed my PhD in Management.
The essential characteristic of values based leadership is the belief that the welfare of people is the end of leadership and not that people are the means to the leader’s goals. Mother Theresa spelt out the ultimate secret of leadership when she was invited to speak at a leadership conference and captured the attention of participants with this ‘definition’, “If you want to lead your people, you first have to understand them. If you want to understand your people, you must love them. Do you love your people? Ultimately, it is not the magnitude of our actions that matters but the amount of love that we put into them.”

Is it so simple? Yes and no. Yes, at the level of your attitude where the answer is absolute; no at the level of ‘organising’ your business where it takes some work to set up a structure that will reflect values and the concern you have toward your business, your people and your world.

In concrete terms, value based leadership is the intention given to and the attention paid to aligning a community or an organization’s values, mission and vision with its strategy, performance management, rewards, processes and systems. It is essentially about cultivating a purposeful consistency in your organization, allowing a culture of genuine sincerity, trust and collaboration to flourish and endeavouring to do what you say always. Value based leadership is a system; it takes into consideration the whole organization that it organizes around well-defined core values.
Core values are the “sacred” fundamental convictions that employees have about how they want – and therefore must – behave in the context of the organization’s mission.

 Core values are timeless and changeless guiding principles which underlie and reflect an organization’s or an individual’s mission. Core values guide behaviour – they guide the behaviour and the decision-making of the entire workforce daily. They form the enduring character of a community, team or an organization – its identity in a sense. Vision, strategy, processes and systems can change in response to changes in the economy or in market trends but a company should not change its values.

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