In a world that values the dollar sign more than human life it can be a balancing act to maintain an moral ethical attitude and still keep the shareholders happy. What happens when the almighty dollar and what is good for the human being, or the environment clash? What steps can be made to make sure that we remain true to the goal of being a good leader and not just a money maker? I will attempt to give some of my own insight to this ever present question.
Everyone loves to deal with the top sales person, or the star employee. It is very tempting to treat the human being as a money making machine, especially if they are good at making money and creating revenue for the company. After all as leaders of any company our bottom line is to grow the company and make revenue. We are only as good as our employees make us look to be. However, that can cause even the hardest working star employee to become over stressed and burned out. Not only is it unfair to treat any employee as a machine, ethically it’s not the right thing to do. If we treat people as people then there is a better chance that the person will yield a better performance for a longer time span if they feel truly understood and appreciated for who they are as a real person.
(the cartoon says, “somehow it’s not the same as when we were here on our honeymoon,” It’s suppose to be Niagara falls but it’s full of garbage.) To be a leader we must take responsibility for the environment. Sometimes it costs money to the company to change how things are produced. However, it costs more to the human life when we don’t change. If we know that our product can be made in such a way that reduces waste or can be more beneficial to the environment then we should always take that path. It’s not the easiest way but it’s the right way. It’s not just about how much revenue we take in right now, it’s about what we give back as well.
It also important to build a path of a reputation for being a company who’s leadership is serious about sharing. Sharing can be done in many ways. It can mean giving to a local charity. It can also mean having fundraising events to help a group or person in need. Sharing can take on many forms, from putting a low income student through college, to simply making a small donation to the local food bank. It is important as a leader to be ethically responsible and share the wealth with those in need. It will empower the employees to do the same and plant a seed in them that it’s important to not only care for others but to take action.
I admit, it is truly scary sometimes to allow others to think outside the box. What if they shine? What if they come up with a better idea than us? What if our employees find out we are not perfect? Ethical leaders should always be transparent with their strengths and with their weaknesses. We all have them and to pretend that we are good at everything all the time only sets us up to be disrespected and unappreciated by our colleagues and our employees. If we are honest and admit when we don’t have the answer, and allow brainstorming and opinions and insight into problems or issues that we cannot solve on our own, we open the vault of openness and honesty, and better morale. We also earn respect from those we are tying to lead we are leaders because that is what we are good at, we are not leaders because we are perfect. We need to be transparent in order to be ethical.
It’s hard to remain neutral when it comes to inner battles within the company. Attempting to remain neutral can be almost impossible. It takes inner strength to say no to taking sides. It’s also takes inner strength to voice your opinion when it’s not widely accepted. However, if you know there is something going on within the company that is unethical, in the end it will hurt the company, so why not give an attempt to be honest with everyone and work towards a goal for the common good? It’s not easy.
As you can tell I like to use humor to make a point. In this cartoon illustration the man is trying to buy flowers, instead he gets beat over the head. Sometimes the very same thing happens when are dealing with people from cultures other than our own. Part of being an ethical leader is knowing who you are trying to do business with and show respect by getting to know a bit about their culture. It will go a long way in reaching and going global and you will fair much better in the long run.
It does little or no good to massage the earnings ratio to make the company look more profitable. In the end we can see where that leads. It is important to be honest at all times with the employees, shareholders and everyone with an interest in the company. I’ve seen more companies who are honest actually make it through a crunch. I’ve seem more than my fair share of companies lie about earnings and the health of the company and then seen it fall.
What is most important? How do you see yourself in 30 years? What about your family. Many of us treasure our loved ones. Our job is to be not only a good employees and a good leader at work, but also a good leader in our home. Our family unit is what should be important. Work is going to be there the next day, or not. The people we love should be just as important if not more important. A good leader understands the need for every person to maintain a healthy relationship with PEOPLE.
It’s easy to be distracted. Money, finances, hiring, firing, all of the things that go into being a leader can be overwhelming. But if we stay focused and make each decision a purposeful decision one that makes a good impact then we will work a little harder but be a better, stronger person in the end.
True Ethical LeadershipWritten by Sandra Pearce How to keep on the right path to ethical leadership.
True Ethical Leadership The first priority of being an ethical leader is understanding the value of a human being. Not to value a person based merely on what they can do for the company, but as a human.
True Ethical Leadership Be Ethically responsible for the environment.
True Ethical Leadership Be Ethically responsible when it comes to sharing.
True Ethical Leadership Ethical leaders are transparent.
True Ethical Leadership Ethical leaders stay strong in the face of adversity. Don’t fall into the trap of dishonesty to make the company look good.
True Ethical Leadership Ethical leaders seek to understand other cultures.
True Ethical Leadership Ethically responsible leaders are honest.
True Ethical Leadership Ethical leaders put a value on family. Family is important to human development and happiness.
True Ethical Leadership Lastly, an ethical leader never loses focus. Don’t get distracted.