Being courageous is a challenge!

on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The courageous leader needs to have the ability to face difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or intimidated by consequences, so being courageous, not only do you need to discern and assess what needs to be done, but have the fortitude when necessary to be able to deal with the consequences based on the foundation of those values
Courageous leaders need more confidence in principles than in personalities. I was watching MSNBC where they had a town meeting at Columbia University with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and one of the great questions that one of the students at Columbia asked Warren Buffett was this: can ethics be taught to leaders today in business? His response was very interesting, he said,” ethics come from the home, it doesn’t come from the classroom. Ethics and values are ingratiated into who we are from our beginning in whatever form our family took.” He then went on to say;” I really don’t think it can be taught; it just needs to be lived.”
If ethics is to be lived, in the corporate world and as a leader, you need to:
• Have high tolerance for ambiguity—lots of shades of gray in leadership today. Be willing, to have tolerance for ambiguity, exposure, and personal loss in order to have a community gain as well. What’s good for the majority rather than just what’s good for me.
• Have acceptance of deferred gratification, as a leader, in simple rewards. Leadership as you look at the news and etc, wants immediate gratification, I think that has to be earned in the long run by who and what we are and how we lead.
• Have independence of thought: we need to take into consideration what others have thought and done before us but you’re in charge, so how do we discern? Discernment is a phrase that needs to have more weight in leadership today. Discerning price to pay; discerning pros and cons; discerning what’s appropriate, what’s not; discerning what’s acceptable, what isn’t; discerning if it’s legal or not; That’s independence of thought. Take what has gone before us, see what we have, and how do we discern the lines between that connect them.
• Have formidable persistence and determination, values don’t fluctuate; they are a constant and that is the foundation for persistence and determination.

Four questions for Ethical reflection

on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1.What should we do?

2.What do we know?

3.What does it mean?

4.Why does it mean that?

Great Leadership insights in ethics from an organization that has been in existence for over 1500 years!

on Friday, February 17, 2012

Ten steps toward an Ethics-based Organization
1. Ethical values are always explicit.
2. Ethical value statements must be well thought out and limited in number.
3. A clear explanation as to why these are ethical values for the organization.
4. All employees must be formally and regularly reminded about ethical values.
5. Ethical values are an integral part of screening, hiring and training.
6. Leaders must set the highest example of ethical behavior.
7. There must be unwavering equality in enforcing ethical rules and moral standards.
8. There must always be a clearly understood enforcement mechanism.
9. The leader must design the organization so that the benefit of community membership in the organization, far outweighs the cost of violating its rules.
10. The survival of the organization and the good of the community must take precedence over organizational fairness and second chances.
From the book:The Benedictine Rule of Leadership: by Craig and Oliver Galbraith.

Ethics Audit to consider for your organization

on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1. Do you have a formal code of ethics? Is it reinforced? How widely distributed?
2. Are employees at all levels trained in ethical decision making?
3.Do employees have formal channels available to make their concerns known?
4.Is misconduct disciplined swiftly and justly within the organization?
5. Is integrity emphasized, particularly to new employees?
6. How are senior managers perceived by subordinated in terms of their integrity?
7. How do such leaders model ethical behavior?

Linda Trevino, Penn State Smeal College of Business

Questions to help define ethical issues and appropriate leadership behaviors.

on Friday, February 10, 2012

1. What are specific ethical behaviors that are required of all leaders?

2. What are the consequences if they don’t behave ethically?

3. What are the situations that people that people encounter that could lead them into a grey area?

4. How should grey areas be handled?

5. How should people make decisions when they encounter difficult situations?

6. Where might leaders fall into grey areas while implementing our goals and values?

7. What are the areas where we will not tolerate compromise?

8. What are the areas of flexibility?

9. Where do we need to clarify our mission and values, to make it clear that we are an ethical organization, and ethics are not negotiable?

10. How can we more effectively recruit, recognize and retain ethical leaders?

Values are caught not taught!

on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Isn't it about time that leaders stand up for values and be willing to pay the price, if necessary, for living them out?
If leaders think that that they are living out their values and that their followers are "buying into” those values, then the question for those leaders is: "What percentage of employees can cite the organization’s decision or current example of conduct exemplifying the organizations values?"
The answers will be very telling!

Need to change the term "Ethics training."

on Thursday, February 2, 2012

We need to find another title other than "ethics training". Reason being, is that the term ethics training tends to put people on the defensive and gives them the perception that they "need" ethics training because they're not perceived to be ethical.

How about something like: What do you do? How to do the right thing, at the right time for the right reason?

Four Leadership Principles from Dupont

on Thursday, January 26, 2012

1. Focus on what you can control.
* Find out things we can do something about and get about doing them.

2. Adopt a new trajectory by rethinking your business model.
* Get people thinking differently.

3. Communication is key.
* When we have an aligned team that underestands very clearly what the goals and
tradeoffs are, that's when things can absolutely happen.

4. Maintain pride around the company's mission.

By Ellen Kullman, CEO, Dupont