Leadership Ethics – Role Model – Tiger Woods
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, 2009
Several months ago Mary Barnes, my marketing director, asked me to write about Leadership Ethics. The recent Tiger Woods debacle, issues that I’ve faced personally as well as those I’ve been working with my clients recently on raised this on my radar screen.
Leadership ethics start with the conduct and attitude of the leader. I’m not sure how many leaders, especially in small business recognize the critical role their attitude and conduct play in the behavior of their followers. While Tiger Woods may not have a company in the way most of us would categorize one, no one would argue that he has perhaps the most iconic brand on the planet. At least until recently.
Obviously Tiger didn’t realize or was oblivious to what his indiscretions would mean if they were eventually discovered. If he did he certainly either felt they would remain hidden or he didn’t fully appreciate the damage they would do to him, his reputation, and perhaps even the sport he plays.
In many cases I believe this is true about our role as the leader. How many times do we not take responsibility for our attitude, our actions, our own major or minor indiscretions that unknowingly affect others? Our business is a reflection of us, as the owner. If there is one thing that Michael Gerber was dead on right about it is this.
The people we lead take on the posture of the owner. Our people reflect our attitude, energy, courage, resilience, optimism, and behavior. Leadership ethics start with recognizing the vital role we play influencing the people who work with us every day.
Sports argue that individual stars should not be looked up to as role models. I submit to you that each one of us as business leaders is looked upon as a role model. As the executive team goes, so goes the company. So this leadership ethic goes beyond simply the owner. Which is why it’s so important who you choose to help you manage and direct your business. And why choosing Core Values
and a Mission Statement is the foundation of your leadership ethics.
Think back over the past week, month or year as we approach 2010. How has your leadership ethics impacted your business? Is it possible you can make a concerted effort to improve upon this for 2010, and what impact do you believe this can have to improve the growth of your business?
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