Monday, August 25, 2008

Reality Always Wins

How an organization conducts it's business (from the top down) is a clear sign as to what is expected of people.

If people see leadership acting in a self-serving, self-centered, dictatoral manner where qustions are not allowed, it is usually because it is in their short-term interest to do so, or they are covering up unethical behavior.

To promote ethical begaviour from the bottom to the top of an organization or movement, practice the following:

Don’t invite transgressions. Combining impossible goals with tantalizing rewards invites cheating, since there is likely to be no return for playing fairly and achieving. Avoid this bad mix of negative incentives.

Establish a culture of trust. There is a fine line between judicious oversight and spying. It is important to have good monitoring systems in place so that people act responsibly with the organization’s assets and recognize the proper management of those assets as a corporate value. Too loose oversight invites the wasting of assets, or worse. Under too strict oversight, people will fail to see stewardship as a privilege entrusted to them.

Underscore the how in addition to the what. What is fun is trying to figure out how to best satisfy people's true needs, knowing that if this is done properly, the “what” will follow. Concentrating solely on the “what” may not only encourage aberrant behaviors to meet objectives, but also result in self-defeating behaviors as well.
Model appropriate behaviors. Ultimately, the measure of anyone — and especially anyone called to lead — is in what he or she does. Remember: People are watching and how you conduct yourself in public will have immeasurable effects on others. Leading with kindness includes acting with integrity — consistently adhering to ethical standards of conduct and the organization’s core values.