The world has been rocked by mismanagement of catastrophic proportions and this has resulted in a tsunami of effects which will shadow the well being of people on a global basis for many years to come.
The true consequences are yet to be felt, however, what is certain is that source of the problems lie in mis-leadership at all levels. I say mis-leadership rather than poor leadership, because the causes go right to the essence of ethical management. It is a question of integrity – the bedrock of good leadership in any organisation.
So what is integrity? I think that we all know what it looks like and feels like. It is the ability to generate trust.
Sally Bibb, in her latest book ‘The Right Thing’ (ISBN 978-0-470-68853-3) summarises very elegantly the main components of integrity as
Honesty – Telling the truth and ensuring other have understood, but it is also about intent
Sincerity – Being genuine about your motives.
Empathy – The capacity to truly take into account other peoples perspectives
Congruence – When your thoughts, actions and words all match.
Humility – about being concerned about doing what is right rather than what is just right for you, with no arrogance.
Courage – Doing the right thing even when it is hard.
Only when combined with two other components of Caring and Independant thought does the true ethical character emerge.
Selfishness and not caring about others (stakeholders, customers, colleagues) is at the root of corporate scandals and bankruptcies.
I would recommend Sally’s latest book as a great read at a time when business ethics have never been so important