My professional, personal journeys and a great deal of research convinced me that human beings are social creatures in search of direction and meaning.  Please note there are two elements.  

  1. Social beings are naturally wired to work in teams for physical, psychological and emotional safety and fulfillment.  
  2. And,they require direction and leadership to translate their inborn instincts into meaningful results.  

This natural confluence can be harnessed so that we reach our highest potential and destiny or abused and misused to benefit the interest of a few resulting in underperformance of the organism (team, organization, self-etc.) During my career I have experienced numerous creative and transformational ideas killed because they were designed to benefit the organization and not to aggrandize specific individuals.

History has shown definitively that in the longer term, the human organ will revolt against itself and the larger collectives that forces it to go against its natural instincts.  In my 30 plus years of coaching executives and their teams I have witnessed numerous leaders that have sabotaged their career because their bodies could no longer endure the dissonance between their choices/behaviors and their values.

Values are our instinctual choices during decisive moments. If organizations and leaders routinely force us to abandon our instincts, we humans will underperform, experience psychological dissonance and in the end manifest behaviors in search of better alignment.  The holes in our souls will revolt in some aspect of our lives.

The good news is that evolved leaders and organizations have realized that the symmetry between their TRUE purpose (not espoused) and the values of its key talent is the surest way to ensure sustained success.

The key distinguisher of this mindset is that it assumes a “triplewin”.

  1. Organizational financial success
  2. employee self-actualization/fulfillment
  3. client/societal impact and satisfaction.  

An abundance mindset. And one which is aligned to the realities of 21st century and its elements

  • freedom of choice offered through technology
  • ethnic, gender and age diversity requiring alignment of values of the leaders with their diverse followers
  • value driven employment choices of the millennials and women (particularly single bread winners)  
  • lack of trust in our institutions and leaders as shown by numerous surveys

The Business Case

Far from being a pipe dream, value based leadership is demonstrated in whole or in parts by many organizations that “walk the talk” and reap numerous benefits such as sustained financial growth, lower employee turnover, customer loyalty, acquisition of toptalent and higher motivation of 21st century employees in search of self-actualization and meaning

 The Business Case comparing 200 companies that intentionally manage their cultures well vs. similar organizations that did not:

Revenue increased 682% vs. 166%
Stock price increased 901% vs. 74%
Net income increased 756% vs. 1%

KoRer, J. P., & HeskeR, J. L. (1992). Corporate Culture and Performance . New York: The Free Press.

In comparing the performance of eight companies with superior results against the performance of companies similar in size and industry sector, the most visible differentiating characteristics of the top performers were their values. Values were their top priority, even before stock price.

O'Reilly C., & Pfeffer J. (2000). Hidden power. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

9 out of 10 employees in organizations that are values-based strongly agree that they hope to be with their companies 12 months from now.

LRN Corpora8 on (2012). The HOW Report - NewMetrics for a New Reality: Rethinking the Source of Resiliency, Innova-on, andGrowth , 3, 19-20, 28.

46% of employees stated that “a lack of transparent leadership communication” is driving them to seek new employment.

DeloiRe Development LLC (2010). Trust in the workplace: 2010 Ethics & Workplace Survey, 1, 3, 6.

In a study of 800 managers working for companies at which the leaders had not created a positive culture, 48% reported that they intentionally decreased the quality of their work.

Porath, C.,& Pearson, C. (2013). The price of incivility. Harvard Business Review,91(1), 3-9.

Two specific examples;

Chobani Yogurt- Espoused Purpose/Values

“I'm Kurdish, and I'm from Turkey. I grew up on sheep farms, and in the mountains.What got respected most was a person's values. It wasn't money, it wasn't how many sheep a person had. It wasn't how tall the person was. A person's actions would earn them the respect they deserved.”

 “At Chobani, doing the right thing has never been the job of one department. We don’t “check-the-box” and we don’t have a traditional corporate social responsibility program. That’s the Chobani Way. Our employees make changes, big and small, each and every day to make Chobani better—for us, for our communities, and for the planet. Maybe we didn’t always call it sustainability,but working this way is who we are.

Our work to achieve a sustainable food system is not just good business practice.  It’s a moral imperative.  From reducing the amount of energy we use to supporting our communities to defending human rights…

 ~Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO Chobani Yogurt


Walk the Talk

 Sample headlines

  • Chobani donates food, money and time in response to Corona
  • Chobani donates $150,000 to help military families in San Antonio
  • Chobani yogurt donates$50,000 to pay off low-income family lunch debts in Rhode Island after state revealed plans to feed poor students jelly sandwiches instead of hot meals
  • Chobani Yogurt Donating Yogurt to food pantries across the nation
  • The founder of Chobani, is giving 10% of the company to its 2,000 or so employees. Some long-term workers could receive stock valued at $1 million or more, with stock amounts based on each employee’s seniority.
  • At Chobani today, 30 percent employees are immigrants or refugees

Financial Results

Annual sales are approximately $2 billion, and it’s now the No. 1 Greek yogurt brand in the U.S.and the No. 2 yogurt maker overall. 


Patagonia - Espoused Purpose/Values

 Build the best product

Our criteria for the best product rests on function, repairability, and, foremost, durability. Among the most direct ways we can limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them remain in use. Making the best product matters for saving the planet.

Cause no unnecessary harm

We know that our business activity—from lighting stores to dyeing shirts—is part of the problem. We work steadily to change our business practices and share what we’ve learned. But we recognize that this isnot enough. We seek not only to do less harm, but more good.

Use business to protect nature and save our planet

The challenges we face as a society require leadership. Once we identify a problem, we act. We embrace risk and act to protect and restore the stability, integrity and beauty of the web of life.

Not bound by convention

Our success—and much of the fun—lies in developing new ways to do things.

Walk the Talk

Sample headlines

  • Patagonia partners with Wal-Mart to use less organic cotton and more synthetics-people throw away cotton clothes, but synthetics can be recycled.
  • Patagonia donates $10 million saved from Trump tax cuts to environmental groups
  • In March 2018, Patagonia launches the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) and the Regenerative Organic Certification(ROC)
  • Patagonia Has Only 4 Percent Employee Turnover Because They Value authenticity
  • Patagonia grows every time it amplifies its social mission


Financial Results

  • As of2018, Patagonia is worth $1 billion
  • The compound annual growth rate has been 14 percent
  • Profits have more than tripled since 2008.

 It is with these convictions and background that I invite you to explore our mantra:
Join the movement.  Lead through your values.  Be the leader you want to be led by.


We need great leadership now more than ever.
Of the 53M millennials comprising almost 35% of the US workforce, more than 70% state they are not aligned with their company's values.
Of the 53M Millennials comprising 35% of the US workforce, more than 70% state they are not aligned with their company's values.
Compared to others, experiential organizations had more than four times the average profit and two times the average revenue.
Compared to others, experiential organizations had more than FOUR TIMES the average profit and TWO TIMES the average revenue.
~Harvard Business Review