Redefining values and launching new leadership behaviors

Gateway Foundation: Redefining values and launching new leadership behaviors


Gateway Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to reducing substance abuse and co-occurring mental health problems through effective and efficient treatment programs. After running into some internal obstacles, they sought our help in aligning their leaders and employees around revised organizational values and newly defined leadership behaviors that would assist them in achieving their vision of becoming the nation’s leading treatment provider for substance abuse and mental health treatment.


  • To redefine the organizational values, we:
    • Recommended the CEO make site visits to increase leadership visibility and gather data on desired values.
    • Analyzed and aggregated site visit data to identify a set of potential values based on themes.
    • Tested potential values via focus groups and an employee survey.
    • Revised values and provided recommendations for a roll-out strategy.
  • To launch the new leadership behaviors, we:
    • Studied the new leadership competencies, organizational goals and previous training materials.
    • Designed a four-hour workshop to introduce the leadership competencies within the context of Gateway’s mission, vision and new values; and provided leaders with the opportunity to assess themselves and understand each required behavior through an experiential learning format.
    • Currently we are translating the material into a video format that can be played by leaders for their teams on demand.


  • The new values received overwhelming support from the organization, with survey results indicating that:
    • On average, 95 percent of respondents are willing to hold themselves accountable for behaving in support of these values.
    • On average, 89 percent of respondents are willing to hold their team members/colleagues accountable for the values.
  • The values are now:
    • Included in the regular communication cadence.
    • Used as a tool in evaluating potential new hires.
  • Facilitation of live sessions for the leadership development program are scheduled. We will also be conducting a two-hour train-the-trainer after each session to prepare participants to utilize the video format.

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