The World’s Most Influential Values, In One Graphic
Our basic values can inform ideals, interests, political preferences, environmental views, and even career choices.
With sweeping data covering half a million surveys in 152 languages, Valuegraphics identifies 56 values that influence human behavior. It uncovers what people care most about around the world, through a contextualized dataset.
The 10 Most Important Values
Individual motivations and values are universally organized. That said, research shows that the hierarchy of these values varies significantly.
According to Valuegraphics, here are the top 10 values we share across cultures.
While it may not be surprising that family emerges as the most important value globally, it’s interesting to note that a number of other ‘connectedness’ values—such as relationships and belonging—emerged in the top 10. Values of loyalty, and religion/spirituality ranked #6, and #7, respectively.
At the same time, security-related values, including financial and employment security, score highly around the world.
From a business and leadership context, values are interesting in that they can guide how people and consumers make their decisions. As people interact with the world, different experiences can ‘engage’ their most closely-held values.
“If you can understand what your target audience cares about, what they spend their lives chasing, now you have an actual chance to use data to understand how to engage and influence and motivate them.”
-David Allison, Founder of Valuegraphics
The Full List of the 56 Most Influential Values
Covering 401 metrics and 370 questions, how did all 56 values break down within the extensive Valuegraphics database on a global level?
Creativity & Imagination
|42||Service to others|
|55||Freedom of Speech|
Across nine regions, the value of social standing stood at #17, while environmentalism came in at #36. Interestingly, both values of wealth (#38) and money (#52) ranked lower on the spectrum.
Meanwhile, respect (#15) and compassion (#16) values fell closer to the top.
Windows of Insight
While many similarities exist across cultures, a number of fascinating differences emerge.
Take morality, for example. Across all regions, it illustrated some of the widest variance—it was the second-most important value in the Middle East, whereas it came in near the bottom in Central and South America. Another notable outlier surrounds the value of patience. The African region placed the value within its top five. By contrast, it ranked globally about mid-way (#26) through the list.
Another fascinating discovery is how both North America and the Middle East ranked the value of authority—both ranked it equally (#17), significantly higher than the global average of #30. Meanwhile, the value of tradition saw the highest ranking in Central & South America, but the lowest in Europe.
As the world becomes increasingly complex, understanding how values impact our attitudes and behaviors can help us deepen our understanding across several avenues of life. Consumer research, marketing, leadership, psychology, and many other disciplines all fall within the broad spectrum of the influence of what humans value.
The New Rules of Leadership: 5 Forces Shaping Expectations of CEOs
This infographic delves into five major forces reshaping our world and the new rules of leadership that CEOs should follow as a result.
It’s common knowledge that CEOs assume a long list of roles and responsibilities.
But in today’s world, more and more people rely on them to go beyond their day-to-day responsibilities and advocate for broader social change. In fact, a number of external forces are changing how leaders are now expected to behave.
How can leaders juggle these evolving expectations while successfully leading their companies into the future?
The New Rules of Leadership
This infographic from bestselling author Vince Molinaro explores five drivers reshaping our world that leaders must pay attention to in order to bring about real change.
How is the World Being Reshaped?
Leaders need to constantly stay one step ahead of the transformative forces that impact businesses on a broader scale.
Below we outline five key drivers that are changing what it means to be a leader in today’s world:
1. Transformative Technologies
Over the last number of decades, several technologies have emerged that could either accelerate the disruption of companies, or provide them with new opportunities for growth. According to KPMG, 72% of CEOs believe the next three years will be more critical for their industry than the previous 50 years.
For example, artificial intelligence (AI), can now provide companies with insights into what motivates their employees and how they can help them succeed. IBM’s AI predictive attrition program can even predict when employees are about to quit—saving them roughly $300 million in retention costs.
Leaders must accept that the future will be mediated by technology, and how they respond could determine whether or not their organization survives entirely.
2. Geopolitical Instability
Geopolitical risks—such as trade disputes or civil unrest—can have a catastrophic impact on a business’s bottom line, no matter its industry. Although 52% of CEOs believe the geopolitical landscape is having a significant impact on their companies, only a small portion say they have taken active steps to address these risks.
By being more sensitive to the world around them, leaders can anticipate and potentially mitigate these risks. Extensive research into geopolitical trends and leveraging the appropriate experts could support a geopolitical risk strategy, and alleviate some of the potential repercussions.
3. Revolutionizing the Working Environment
As the future of work looms, leaders are being presented with the opportunity to reimagine the inner workings of their company. But right now, they are fighting against a wide spectrum of predictions around what they should expect, with estimations surrounding the automation risk of jobs ranging from 5% to 61% as a prime example.
While physical, repetitive, or basic cognitive tasks carry a higher risk of automation, the critical work that remains will require human interaction, creativity, and judgment.
Leaders should avoid getting caught up in the hype regarding the future of work, and simply focus on helping their employees navigate the next decade.
By creating an inspiring work environment and investing in retraining and reskilling, leaders can nurture employee well-being and create a sense of connectedness and resilience in the workplace.
4. Delivering Diversity
Diversity and inclusion can serve as a path to engaging employees, and leaders are being asked to step up and deliver like never before. A staggering 77% of people feel that CEOs are responsible for leading change on important social issues like racial inequality.
But while delivering diversity, equity, and inclusion seems to be growing in importance, many companies are struggling to understand the weight of this issue.
An example of this is Noah’s Ark Paradox, which describes the belief that hiring “two of every kind” creates a diverse work environment. In reality, this creates a false sense of inclusion because the voices of these people may never actually be heard.
Modern day leaders must create a place of belonging where everyone—regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ability, or age—is listened to.
5. Repurposing Corporations
The drivers listed above ladder up to the fact that society is looking to businesses to help solve important issues, and leaders are the ones being held accountable.
With 84% of people expecting CEOs to inform conversations and policy debates on one or more pressing issues, from job automation to the impact of globalization, CEOs have the potential to transform their organization by galvanizing employees on the topics that matter to them.
For a long time, the purpose of corporations was purely to create value for shareholders. Now, leaders are obligated to follow a set of five commitments:
- Deliver value to customers
- Invest in employees
- Deal fairly and ethically with suppliers
- Support communities
- Generate long-term value for shareholders
Ultimately, these five commitments build currency for trust, which is critical for sustained growth and building a productive and satisfied workforce.
Lead the Future
If leaders understand the context they operate in, they can identify opportunities that could fuel their organization’s growth, or alternatively, help them pivot in the face of impending threats.
But organizations must invest in the development of their leaders so that they can see the bigger picture—and many are failing to do so.
By recognizing the new rules of leadership, CEOs and managers can successfully lead their organizations, and the world, into a new and uncertain future.
How to Avoid Mediocre Leadership in Trying Times
This graphic explores the five behaviors that lead to mediocre leadership and the damaging consequences that they can have on employees.
In today’s complex world, leaders are being asked to step up in dynamic and unexpected ways.
Unfortunately, many of them are not equipped with the tools they need to lead under pressure. As a result, they fail to serve themselves and their employees effectively, and put the future of their entire organization at risk.
The Behaviors That Result in Mediocre Leadership
Today’s infographic from Vince Molinaro’s Accountable Leaders reveals the common behaviors that can result in leaders becoming mediocre due to mounting day-to-day pressures.
Order Vince Molinaro’s new book, Accountable Leaders
Leadership accountability is one of the most important ingredients for driving business growth and maintaining a healthy corporate culture.
How can leaders set the tone for accountability in their organization?
Accountable Leaders Invest in Themselves
Every leader has an obligation to their employees, their customers and their community, but failing to put themselves first could have serious consequences—and cause a ripple effect across other parts of the business.
In fact, 40% to 80% of a manager’s time is spent on activities that add little to no value, when the majority of their time should be spent investing in their personal development.
By not having a holistic view of their development, leaders succumb to the day-to-day challenges that come with managing a company, such as:
- Getting in over their head
- Confusing acting rough with tough
- Mistaking effort for results
- Feeling like the victim
- Being insecure and unable to use their voice
- Constantly needing to hear good news
- Needing to win at all costs
- Waiting for permission to act from senior leaders
- Being driven to distraction and lacking focus
- Not learning from past mistakes
Moreover, if leaders struggle to meet expectations, the risk is that they either give up, or ultimately become a mediocre leader—but what exactly does that look like?
The Characteristics of a Mediocre Leader
Mediocre leadership has become remarkably commonplace, yet it is not always easy for organizations to identify.
Here are the five problematic characteristics of a mediocre leader:
- Blames others: Never personally acknowledges their role or contribution to any mistake or failure.
- Selfish and self-serving: Regularly acts out of self-interest and brings a sense of entitlement to the role.
- Uncivil and mean: Routinely mistreats, demeans and insults others, usually in public.
- Inept and incompetent: Makes bad decisions, resulting in a trail of disaster behind them.
- Lacks initiative: Looks for the easy way out by deflecting responsibility.
Leaders cite several reasons for falling into this mediocre leadership trap, including their fear failure, having unclear leadership expectations, and being overloaded with tasks that could be delegated elsewhere.
The Danger of Mediocre Leadership
It comes as no surprise that this style of leadership has a negative impact on employees, with 73% claiming that they spend a significant amount of time dealing with problems that arise from an ineffective manager.
However, employees will put up with a mediocre leader because they find the work itself meaningful, or they value the relationship they have with their peers.
But while mediocre leaders can bring a team closer together through their collective misery, eventually this reaches a tipping point which could result in a high staff turnover or low rates of employee engagement.
Avoid a Culture of Mediocrity
As we navigate uncertain waters, leaders must not only demonstrate agility and resilience—they must also advocate for a culture of accountability.
”Senior leaders create the culture and set the tone for the organization. It’s imperative that they drive the set of behaviors influencing the behaviors of the next line leaders.”
—Molinaro, Vince (2020), Accountable Leaders.
But in order to maintain accountability across an organization, mediocre behavior must be addressed, and difficult decisions will need to be made.
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