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Leading With Integrity
Leading in today's fast-paced, sophisticated, global environment presents many challenges. We've seen numerous examples over the past few years of leaders who stumbled in business dealings, lacking the moral courage to do the right thing.
"Why should moral courage matter so much to us these days? In part because we see so many examples of its lack - in corporate settings and legal proceedings, in politics and sports and entertainment, in personal and social relationships. But there's another, deeper reason. If courage is indeed one of the core virtues of humanity, we need to find ways to express it, support it, and teach it." This excerpt is from Moral Courage , by Rushworth M. Kidder, president of the Institute for Global Ethics, an organization he founded to promote ethical action in a global context. His words caused me to think about the organizations I work with and the importance of developing and supporting ethical leadership.
In my program, Creating a Culture of Shared Values, leaders and their teams work together to define and implement their most important corporate values. It is a powerful exercise that helps to establish a foundation of trust and a solid basis for teamwork as well as promoting ethical behavior in business. As employees learn to "live" the values in the daily activities of the workplace, they develop closer working relationships that ultimately benefit the organization through improved productivity, efficiency and morale. They also learn to make decisions based on shared values and to lead with integrity.
Would your team benefit from a program of clarifying your shared values and learning to "live" them in your daily worklife? Creating a Culture of Shared Values can do just that!
Tips for Ethical Leadership
1. Lead by example. This point is well illustrated by the wise words a dear friend once shared with me, "what you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying." No matter what you articulate, your actions are what others will follow. Ask yourself: What does my example show others?
2. Bring integrity to the forefront. Openly discuss ethics and engage in dialogue and discussion around ethics to create a culture of integrity. Open communication helps sets the standards you want others to follow and helps build a culture of trust. Ask yourself: Am I contributing to an environment of trust and integrity?
3. Follow your ethical compass in every decision.. Get clear on what constitutes ethical behavior. Apply your core values when making decisions to help you follow your ethical compass. Ask yourself: Is this decision ethical?
Having personal ethics is not enough. Leaders must have the strength to stand up for what they know is right." Rushworth M. Kidder, Ph.D.
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