Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Basic principles – completely honest?

Recently, there was a question asked regarding a leadership practice: was it really necessary to always be and act completely honestly. That brought to my mind a number of incidences and many conversations – one just yesterday – and questions about some principles. Let us evaluate  a few.

Treating others as you would be treated – necessary or not. The individual talking with me yesterday shared that a company he had been with treated him like “dirt;” he found another position.

Size does not matter. After viewing the inconsiderate firing practice at a subsidiary of world-known HP, I refuse to support them in any way, and will not be making purchases from that company again.

Treating people as you want to be treated is an eternal principle that makes a difference. I have continually warned that organizations that pay poorly, show little respect for their workers, and  take advantage of the current employee glut, will eventually find it difficult to fill needed positions. Actually, that is already happening.

Total honesty – necessary or not.  An individual, second in command, spent considerable time undercutting his leader. Eventually, the governing board elevated him to the top spot. However, because of this and other dishonest action, those working with him and under him, did not trust. It wasn’t long before the under-cutter lost his position.

Always being right – necessary or not. Sometimes leaders do not accept responsibility for errors they make. Sometimes they even blame others. Although making mistakes is not a reputation you want, being human is. Accepting responsibility for reasonable errors can actually increase support.

Spending time with, and listening to others – necessary or not. There is nothing that gains as much support – whether at home or at work – than sincerely paying attention to others – including those with the lowest, menial jobs. People need that attention; their ideas need to be expressed and heard. It is amazing how much can be learned and how much support can be gained just by paying attention to people..

Providing service – necessary or not. Sometimes our focus becomes skewed – we may think sales, sales, sales or production, production, production. However, the most successful individuals view their positions, regardless of the industry, on the service they, or their product, provides. What service do you provide to your employees? What service do you facilitate by the product you deliver to customers?

There are many other basic principles. Before deviating it is wise to stand back and evaluate the decision.   (Other ideas: The Wrong Bottom Line . . .Still: Critical Components)