Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From Values To Action: The Four Principles Of Values-Based Leadership By Harry M. Kraemer

From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership

From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership
By Harry M. Kraemer

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Product Description

Respected former CEO, professor, and speaker examines what it takes to become a values-based leader

In this highly-anticipated book, Harry Kraemer argues that today's business environment demands values-based leaders who, in "doing the right thing," deliver outstanding and lasting results. The journey to becoming a values-based leader starts with self-reflection. He asks, "If you are not self-reflective, how can you know yourself? If you do not know yourself, how can you lead yourself? If you cannot lead yourself, how can you lead others?" Kraemer identifies self-reflection as the first of four principles that guide leaders to make choices that honor their values and candidly recounts how these principles helped him navigate some of the toughest challenges he faced in his career.

  • Offers a framework for adopting the principles of values-based leadership?self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence, and genuine humility?to lead organizations effectively
  • Based on Kraemer's popular Kellogg MBA course on values-based leadership
  • A recognized expert in values-based leadership, Kraemer is a sought after speaker on the subject

Lively and engaging, Kraemer's book comes at a critical time when true leadership in every facet of society is desperately needed.

Q&A with Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr.
Why did you write this book?
Values-based leadership has been the foundation of my leadership throughout my career. These values are rooted in the way I was raised and the lessons my parents taught me. Over the years, I have also mentored others in values-based leadership in order to increase their satisfaction and effectiveness, and to help them build a values-based team. Now, as a professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, I teach values-based leadership. My students have encouraged me to write a book, as did many others. For me spreading the word about values-based leadership—which is needed more than ever at this time—is a passion and a mission. With a perceived leadership deficit in many facets of society from business to government, values-based leadership can be a powerful solution to address the need for leadership that inspires, informs, and invites followership.

What makes someone a values-based leader?
Leaders influence others. Values-based leaders take it to the next level, using their words, actions, and example to inspire and motivate others to pursue what matters most. For the values-based leader, what matters most is the greater good—the positive change that can be effected in any organization or activity whether on a local basis or a global level. Values-based leaders take the time to discover and reflect on what is most important to them, and they use their values as the basis of their decisions and actions.

At what level can someone become a values-based leader?
Values-based leadership is possible for anyone to achieve—from the college graduate starting a first job to a senior executive. Every organization—for-profit, not-for-profit, government—needs values-based leaders. All it takes is a desire to do the right thing by making choices and decisions that are aligned with your values. I embraced values-based leadership a long time ago when I was a junior member of a team that was working in cubicles. I never knew when or if I would be promoted out of those cubicles. No matter what, I told myself, I was committed to making a difference with my life in whatever way I could. As my career progressed, eventually becoming chairman and CEO of a $10 billion global healthcare company, I continued to follow values-based leadership, treating others with respect and never putting my own needs and desires ahead of the goals of my team or the organization.

What are the principles of values-based leadership?
The four principles are: (1) self-reflection, which increases self-awareness; (2) balance, which encourages you to seek multiple perspectives to gain a global perspective; (3) true self-confidence, which helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses and to feel comfortable in your own skin; and (4) genuine humility, which keeps you from forgetting where you came from, no matter what your title or level of accomplishment. Together they form a foundation of values-based leadership. They may appear simplistic, but they are a lifelong discipline. In the book, I go into detail about what each of the principles has meant to me and how leaders at all levels can use them to embark on their own journey of values-based leadership.

How do the four principles work together as a foundation for leadership?
The principles will help you lead and influence others, regardless of your level in the organization. The principles will also help you, as a values-based leader, to build a values-based organization. You will develop a team of people who are also aligned with values—theirs and those of the organization. You will make sure the values are reflected in the organization's strategy, how it communicates, how it treats people, how it creates alignment, how it develops talent, and so forth. At every juncture, values are the foundation—particularly when an organization faces change, controversy or crisis. When you know what your values are and the values that the organization stands for, making decisions even in the most difficult circumstances becomes clearer: You will do the right thing.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #23970 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-04-19
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 224 pages
Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In this anticipated book, Harry Kraemer, professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and former chairman and CEO of Baxter International, a multibillion-dollar health care company, argues that, as the global economy becomes even more competitive, organizations will turn to values-based leaders who, in doing the right thing, deliver outstanding and lasting results.

Kraemer knows about delivering results. During his leadership at Baxter, the company experienced consistently strong growth. And Kraemer also knows about doing the right thing; not only did he step up to the plate when things were going well but also when faced with change, controversy, and crisis, as he did throughout his career. In From Values to Action, Kraemer argues that the journey to becoming a values-based leader starts with self-reflection, which he identifies as the first of four principles that guide leaders to make choices that are aligned with their values. The four essential principles are:

  • Self-Reflection: The ability to reflect and identify what you stand for, what your values are, and what matters most.

  • Balance and Perspective: The ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, including differing viewpoints, to gain a holistic understanding.

  • True Self-Confidence: More than mastery of certain skills, true self-confidence enables you to accept yourself as you are, recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses, and focusing on continuous improvement.

  • Genuine Humility: The ability never to forget who you are, to appreciate the value of each person in the organization, and to treat everyone respectfully.

Drawing from first-hand experience, Kraemer offers current and aspiring leaders a framework to adopt the four principles of values-based leadership to make their organizations beacons of enduring value in the world. Insightful and inspiring, From Values to Action comes at a critical time when true leadership in every facet of society is greatly needed.

From the Back Cover

Praise for From Values to Action

"A worthy read for any aspiring leader. Kraemer leverages his unique collection of world-class experiences to bring the leadership journey to life in a compelling and practical fashion."—Douglas R. Conant, president and CEO, Campbell Soup Company

"Values-based leadership has never been more important. For anyone wanting to be a better leader, every page of Kraemer's book offers practical advice."—Greg Case, president and CEO, Aon Corporation

"Kraemer's engaging book takes you into the heart of genuine leadership: the practices and habits that enable leaders to be reflective, self-aware, and genuinely humble. Like learning from a superb mentor, Kraemer shares his deep experience and inner secrets of what it takes to lead a great organization."—Bill George, professor, Harvard Business School; former chair and CEO, Medtronic; and best-selling author, True North and Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis

"There's a difference between doing things right—and doing the right thing. This is the essence of values-based leadership, which Kraemer captures in this lively and highly readable book. A must-read for traveling the road ahead."—Gary Burnison, CEO, Korn/Ferry International

"In an increasingly fast-paced and turbulent world, leadership based on character and values will be essential for impact and success. This book provides a wonderfully clear and practical view of what values-based leadership means and how it can be applied in our everyday life."—Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company"Values and culture are paramount to corporate leadership. This book provides leaders with the tools to develop their talent." —Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric Company

About the Author

Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr. is a professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he teaches in the MBA and the Executive MBA programs. He is an executive partner with Madison Dearborn Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in the United States, where he consults with CEOs and other senior executives of companies in MDP's extensive portfolio. Kraemer is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter International Inc., a multibillion-dollar global health care company. He was voted the Kellogg School Professor of the Year in 2008. Visit

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
5Must read!
By Vikram
I was fortunate to be student at Professor Kraemer's class at Kellogg. This book captures all that we learnt in our 10 week leadership course. Anyone aspiring to be a better leader (actually a better human being) would be well served reading this book. This class was by far my favorite class at Kellogg and I try to apply what I learnt everyday of my life. From my perspective, what stands out is that Professor Kraemer walks the talk - he is a living example of all that he says in this book and his lectures. Another important fact is that he is an excellent teacher, a successful CEO and a wonderful family man - its difficult to hit a home run in all aspects of life but Professor Kraemer man cracked the code. Its easy to admire him but difficult to implement all that he says. At this stage I am half way through the book and I can safely say that the book succeeds in bringing his classroom lectures to life and for anyone not fortunate to be in his class this book is an excellent reference guide to keep coming back to time and again. Happy reading!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
5A Personal Story of Value-Based Leadership
By Star Angel
I want to work with Harry Kraemer. It's as simple as that.

Kraemer shares his experience of how he became and lives as a value-based leader in a style that is personal, hopeful and engaging. Not only does Kraemer take the risk that always comes with sharing your own story, but he tells it in a way that allows you, the reader, to understand and follow his blueprint - if you so desire.

What makes the book a compelling read is that you walk away with the sense that Kraemer believes in you and your ability to follow his path. This approach makes Kraemer's book both a business book and a self-help manual - and I say that in the best way possible since I'm not a big fan of the self-help aisle.

From Values to Action is a business book with a heart and a soul. And we have too few leaders like Harry Kraemer in the world today. Maybe this book will change that.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Authentic Leadership from Harry Kraemer
By Jim Pursley
"Harry Kraemer is an authentic leader whose intellect, sincerity, and principled leadership are a true asset to his students, his colleagues, and those who have the pleasure of interacting with him. We need more leaders like Kraemer."

Jim Pursley, General Manager at Care Innovations an Intel-GE Company


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