Values-Based Leadership Courses:

What is Values-Based Leadership?

Growing as leaders is about more than knowledge and skills; it is relational. At the City of Madison, we promote Values-Based Leadership. Values-Based Leadership invites us to lead from a place of what matters most to us.

There are four interconnected principles:

  • Self-reflection
    Pause and take time to understand yourself. This also includes reflecting on your life experience, potential biases, and social identities. Reflection and self-awareness are critical for practicing inclusive leadership. Do your choices align with your values?
  • Balance & Perspective
    See and understand things from many points of view. Reach out to others with openness and curiosity. Listen deeply. Involve people in decisions that impact them. In various spaces, ask "Who's missing from this table?"
  • Lifelong Learner
    Bring a growth mindset to everything you do—there is always something new to learn! Be open to feedback. Seek out new ways to live our values. How can we be more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable? How can you build on your strengths?
  • Humility and Empathy
    Recognize when you need support, and ask for it. Leadership is not about being in charge at every moment. Cultural humility is also important. We cannot know everything about someone else's culture and lived experience. Humble leaders approach others with humility, empathy, and appreciation of their differences. How does your culture shape and inform your attitudes? How can you honor and empower others?

These principles were adapted from the book From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership by Harry Kraemer