Ethics is the focus of much discussion and media coverage in the business world tainted by the post Enron and WorldCom scandal. Leadership, always an area of ​​study for organizations of all types and sizes, is receiving even more attention as a result of corporate and other corruption (such as the recent events with Tom Delay in Congress and the lobbying of “K Street “Investigations by Jack Abramoff and others in Washington, DC). But when it comes to ethics-based leadership, while there is a growing volume of literature, there are few role models (at least those who still live and breathe, rather than history books and biographies). Given these circumstances, where can you go for guidance in the “real world” when it comes to ethics-based leadership?

There are several key questions that leaders at all levels and in any type of organization, be it a large or small company, a nonprofit, the government or the professions, can ask themselves and others:

– What would my mother say about … (action, decision, behavior …)?

– What if this were my personal bank account (applies to both income and expenses)?

– How would I like to be treated in the same situation (applies to clients, clients, patients and employees)?

– Would I like to see this (action, decision, behavior, conversation, etc.) on the front page of the local (or regional or national) newspaper?

– If I make a promise, an agreement or a “commitment”, am I willing to do everything in my power to fulfill it (situational honesty is just another name for a lie)?

Simplistic? Maybe. Realistic? Yes. Does life change? Definitely. If leaders of all professions, businesses, and organizations asked themselves these questions, and then acted accordingly, ethics-based leadership would go from being an academic theory to an everyday reality with remarkable results not only for leaders but also for leaders. customers. , employees and investors.

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