The backbone of honorable leadership may be ethics. Do you stop to think about how your leadership practices affect employees, morale, or sales? Have you considered the ethical challenges or decisions that you may make every day?
I believe the root of your behavior often depends on the questions you ask yourself. For many employees and for the values, beliefs, and traditions of the organization are ethical standards something you think about? Do you have a written code of ethics?
Here is a partial list of ethical questions that may challenge or enhance your ethical standards:
- If no one notices does it still matter?
- Should all errors be fixed or can some be ignored?
- If errors cost, who will be paying?
- Is telling someone what they want to hear sometimes required?
- Can we replace it with something cheaper?
- Are there opportunities to hire someone who will do the same work for less pay?
- Does the fine print really matter?
- Should we ship it if it isn’t quite ready?
- If everyone else is doing it, it must be OK, right?
- Can you please just tell them I’m in a meeting?
- What shortcuts can we take?
- I wonder if anyone will notice if I borrow our competitors PowerPoint slides?
- Should we notify the vendor that they charged us for less than what we received?
- Does that policy apply to everyone?
- Does gossip matter if it isn’t about our employees?
- Should we tell the customer we overcharged them?
- Can we remove some of the safety equipment if it slows productivity?
- Is that the legal definition?
- Do we have to listen or can we ignore them?
- Should we hire this person to meet a racial diversity or gender quota?
Leaders and Role Models
Leaders, not just people with a formal title will often work hard to establish a healthy organizational culture. Sometimes though, they just don’t ask the right questions.
What will you do, especially when no one is watching?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.