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VALUES-BASED LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Inner leadership engages the leader in specific behaviors to change the value measures of individual followers and the nature of their goals. The following activities may be useful to leaders as they try to gain experience and comfort in displacing the values of their coworkers.

Activity 1: Valuing

Instructions. The individual’s set of values is naturally undergoing continual incremental—sometimes revolutionary—change. Yet, for most of this generation, values displacement has been ignored. The reason is the mistaken belief that setting one’s values is a personal, private action with which process externals should not engage. The reality is that a lot of people and events impact on everyone’s values and serve to change them. Inner leaders bring values displacement “out of the closet” of neglect and into the light of leadership action. They reveal the need for expertise in this preeminent leadership activity.

  1. Assume you are the inner leader of a work community in your present work environment.

  2. Develop a plan to induce your coworkers to change their values respecting habitual punctual attendance (or any other value you think is needed in your present work situation).

  3. Follow the six-step guideline found in this chapter.

  4. Include in your plan specific actions you will take in each step and that you will ask coworkers to take to insure that this new value guides the life of your coworkers.

  5. Share this plan with a colleague who can help you refine—and maybe implement—it.

Activity 2: Where Do Our Values Come From?

Introduction. Inner leaders internalize one (or a very few) of these founding values in their work-community values set and in their strategic vision statements. The value adopted in the vision is the basis for individual and work community action. It is the source for inspiring commitment and mobilizing action toward its realization in the life of the work community and its members because everyone has values, and they affect our behavior. But, where do your values come from?

  1. Think about your values and their origins.

  2. In the spaces provided on page 134, write down as many sources of your values as you can. (Add to the diagram as needed.)

Activity 3: Core Values Ranking

Instructions. Milton Rokeach identified eighteen core or terminal values and another eighteen instrumental values that help us in attaining our core values. Use his model to determine what your values are as of today that guide your actions and behavior, both on the job and off.

Sources of My Values

1. __________

6. __________

2. __________

7. __________

3. __________

8. __________

4. __________

9. __________

5. __________

10. __________

  1. Complete the following two questionnaires for yourself. You may also complete the questionnaire as it applied to your work community or to another coworker.

  2. Complete the ranking for yourself first. Then complete the ranking as you see your coworkers (collectively) back home would rank them.

    Your Core Value System

    Core Values

    My Ranking
    of Values

    As My Associates
    Would Rank Them

    A Comfortable life

    __________

    __________

    An Exciting Life

    __________

    __________

    A Sense of Accomplishment

    __________

    __________

    A World at Peace

    __________

    __________

    A World of Beauty

    __________

    __________

    Equality

    __________

    __________

    Family Security

    __________

    __________

    Freedom

    __________

    __________

    Happiness

    __________

    __________

    Inner Harmony

    __________

    __________

    Mature Love

    __________

    __________

    National Security

    __________

    __________

    Pleasure

    __________

    __________

    Salvation

    __________

    __________

    Self-Respect

    __________

    __________

    Social Recognition

    __________

    __________

    True Friendship

    __________

    __________

    Wisdom

    __________

    __________

    Your Instrumental Value System

    InstrumentalValues

    My Ranking
    of Them

    As My Associates
    Would Rank them

    Ambitious

    __________

    __________

    Broad-Minded

    __________

    __________

    Capable

    __________

    __________

    Cheerful

    __________

    __________

    Clean

    __________

    __________

    Courageous

    __________

    __________

    Forgiving

    __________

    __________

    Helpful

    __________

    __________

    Honest

    __________

    __________

    Imaginative

    __________

    __________

    Independent

    __________

    __________

    Intellectual

    __________

    __________

    Logical

    __________

    __________

    Loving

    __________

    __________

    Obedient

    __________

    __________

    Polite

    __________

    __________

    Responsible

    __________

    __________

    Self-Controlled

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

    __________

  3. Identify the three values you ranked highest and the three you ranked lowest of both core and instrumental values for yourself and for your work community. Then respond to the following questions.

    • What did you learn about yourself when you analyzed your highest and lowest ranked values?

    • How do your rankings of your core values compare with the composite of your perception of colleagues’ rankings?

    • How were your instrumental values similar to or different from the composite ranking?

    • What does this mean to you about your relationships in this group?

Can you make some conclusions about the impact of individual and work community values on your individual fit with the team.

  • the power of values in shaping corporate success.

  • the power of values in shaping your individual success.

What can you do as a leader with this kind of information? Be explicit.

Activity 4: The Values Supporting Personal Professional Ethics

Instructions. An effective way of thinking about what you want for the future is to write your own obituary. This may seem a strange thing to do— especially for younger people, or those at the end of their careers, but it is a way of really thinking about what you want to do with your life. Writing your own obituary will take some thinking and reflecting on your part. It should be done in quiet.

  1. Write your own obituary. Use any format you desire, but here is a made up example:

    Mr. John Smith died at his home yesterday after a short illness. He was 83. Before his retirement eleven years ago, he was executive vice president of the Sloan Hospital. According to hospital officials, Mr. Smith began his rise to prominence when he undertook research (on his own time) and sold plans for the hospital’s expansion into international health care. He was in charge of testing for the project, and when it was successful he was assigned to a key position in the international division. He later became vice president/international.

    Mr. Smith was active in civic and service work communities in the city and served on many boards and committees for public betterment. Among other notable volunteer activities was his work with small businesses begun by people of minority groups. He believed that know-how was the biggest lack in making a success of these small business ventures. It is to be noted that the failure rates for our city are much lower than those in other cities of comparable sizes.

    Mr. Smith attended Tulane University for three years and later completed his B.A. degree and the MBA degree through the University of Chicago Extension. He and Mrs. Smith were active participants in local college evening classes, taking a wide range of subjects such as geography, foreign languages, geopolitics, painting, and sculpture.

    When his two boys were younger, he was active in their activities, including Boy Scouts and Little League Football. (In working with the Little League, he was able to persuade the other parents to deemphasize winning and emphasize sportsmanship and skill.)

    Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Edith, and two sons: Robert J., an attorney in Richmond, and Peter. L., an oceanographer now working in Florida.

    Note: Some items are not yet even begun by our Mr. Smith. Please think through what you have done to date in your life and what you want yet to accomplish. Include both in your obituary.

  2. When you have completed your obituary, lay it aside for a few days.

  3. Then review it carefully and analyze why you wrote the words your wrote, why you recorded the events and activities you recorded, and which of the values you hold are reflected in the content of the obituary.

    • Why do you think you would write the words you did in your obituary?

    • What values are reflected in the kind of accomplishments you listed for yourself?

List those values you believe form the foundation of your life based on your obituary.

  1. Your list may contain some of the following values that other people have listed as the reason for their activities. Which of these values reflect your present values set? (Circle those that apply and write in other values you listed in step 4.)

    Achievement

    Growth

    Joy/Peace

    Choice

    Health

    Security

    Wealth

    Service

    Spirituality

    Work

    Recreation

    Fun

    Power

    Creativity

    Immortality

    Brotherhood

    Tradition/Culture

    Affiliation

    Freedom

    Independence

  2. If any of these values (or others) are the base cause of your writing any part of your obituary document, write that value in the margin near the appropriate phrase or sentence. One activity or event may be caused by several values. If this is the case in your situation, record each appropriate value in the margin.

  3. Review your marked-up obituary document and determine which values are most important in your life, at least as they precipitated significant behavior in your past, present, and potential future actions.


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