Values-Based Leadership
Use the Skills and Enjoy the Benefits

by Kelly Patrick Gerling, Ph.D. © 2000
Published in The Spinal Column, Nelson-Marlborough Health Services, Nelson New Zealand, September, 1999

A number of my clients continue to make a commitment to implement Values-Based Leadership (or VBL) in their organisations. To help others learn from their experiences, I would like to share some ways of using VBL and some of the benefits of doing so.

VBL is a model of leadership designed to help anyone in an organisation become a more effective leader - that is, a leader who contributes to the fulfillment of important values . . . values like trust and respect, dignity and cooperation, caring and service.

Based on my observations and experiences with many different kinds of organisations, there are a number of key ways of using VBL and clear benefits of doing so. (If you are not familiar with the processes in the VBL model, take a look at the VBL skills menu.)

Using VBL

As people get training in VBL, they begin to apply the inner and outer processes in day-do-day situations. Here are some of the ways people use these skills:

These are just a sampling of the many kinds of situations where you can demonstrate leadership to fulfill values.

Benefits of VBL

There are quite a few immediate benefits of using VBL which help make this kind of leadership rewarding to you:

While VBL provides these kinds of immediate benefits, the growth of greater savvy and expertise in these leadership skills makes them even more easy and fun to use. VBL skill development is much like skill development in a sport like golf, or the skill development of learning to play a musical instrument - advanced skills come from the patient discipline of preparing, practising, and rehearsing. And using these skills gets easier and more fun, as you get better at them.

I hope you will take advantage of the benefits of VBL for developing leadership skills. In doing so, you help your organisation become an even better place to work, AND you make YOUR worklife more fulfilling and less stressful.

What to Do Now

There are a couple of ways you can get help with learning and using VBL processes. One way is to participate in a VBL workshop held in your area. Another way is to bring VBL facilitation and leadership development into your organisation. To explore either option, e-mail Kelly Gerling at

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