Can You Quantify Values and Drive?

Simple rule for lawyers and bloggers – never lead with a question you can’t answer.  Yes!  You can quantify values and drive, and in People & Strategy, Povah and Sobczak have compiled some fascinating research on how they impact leadership.

Values centers around the character traits of integrity, honesty, sincerity, trust and respect.  We know those traits when we see them, but we must also learn to take measure of them during leadership selection.  Eight different companies with superior results when compared against similar industries and organizational characteristics were found to have approaches to leadership based on values.  In fact, the researchers O’Reilly and Pfeffer found that “the most visible characteristics that differentiate the companies we have described from others are their values and the fact that the values come first, even before stock price.”  This values-based leadership guides decision-making, crisis management, and counts for a little more than 16% of successful leadership according to Roger Pearman, 1999.

Drive is often thought of as achievement, ambition, tenacity and energy.  For the purposes of this research they looked at drive defined by the engagement aspect of leadership that inspires people to action and more involves passion, self-motivations and resilience.  Pearman found this quality accounts for a little more than 13% of effective leadership.

We will look at our final element of leadership – learning agility – in our next blog.  These elements are surely not new to you, but to examine them within leadership potentials and then to analyze the cultural context is another step forward in ensuring your organization is prepared for the future.  We will put it all together within this series on contextual leadership.

Have you evaluated your leadership pipeline for values and drive?  We hope that the quantifiable payoff we looked at above will encourage you to make a concrete plan for evaluating those traits in your talent search.


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