Leadership is about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences matter. Chris Hadfield, Test Pilot, Astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station 2012 – 2013.
If we were in a coaching session, I would ask the following:
- How often do you talk about the values and ethics of the firm?
- How often does the team share examples of those values and ethics in real situations?
- How does the team problem-solve ethical challenges, as they arise?
- How do you train new team members to think through ethical challenges?
Building an Ethical Culture
Organizational culture is a hot leadership topic. In my psychological opinion, organizational culture is the sum of all the individual behaviors. Therefore, leaders build an ethical culture by rewarding and correcting individuals, one at a time.You get more of what you reward, is a truism of behavioral psychology. As you ponder your firm’s reward and accountability systems, consider the following:
- What behaviors do we incentivize?
- Who gets power, and why?
- How do we hold people accountable to our values?
- How do we uncover hidden cases of neglect or misconduct?
- How do we handle situations so that we don’t over or under react?
You’ll notice this article has more questions than answers. I believe it would be arrogant to tell you what to do. Leading a team is hard. Leading character, honor and integrity is really hard. It’s complicated, difficult and requires sacrifice.
I help coaching clients find a way that minimizes the damage and maximizes the honorable outcomes. There is no easy formula for complicated situations. Contact me and we’ll talk about it.
(for the real stories and full article, download the PDF)