All entries for Thursday 27 February 2014

February 27, 2014

A limit to what can be accepted from a leader.

I remember Paul say if we cannot change the smaller thing then how can we change the bigger ethical issues which we discussed the previous day. And in this context the smaller issue was late coming as a leader while the bigger issues were for example, a leader accepting to fully engage in human trafficking to save his child or accepting money in exchange for something etc.

Even though I strongly agree that none of these are practices expected of a leader but I mean a leader who appears late at functions can be excused I think, but a leader who would engage in human trafficking and the likes for some selfish reasons...I am not sure can be excused. So I thought maybe these two issues were completely extremes and should not be compared.


From my perspective as a follower:

What if I had a very effective leader but comes LATE but does not accept the "bigger" unethical practices?

What if I am very effective leader who come in very comes EARLY but engages in the "bigger" unethical practices within the organisation for example?

I would honestly excuse the first leader but for the second I am not sure because this means that if he had the chance he would sell me to save himself.

From the leader's perspective:

What if I had stars as followers who come in LATE but do not accept the bigger unethical practices?

What if I had stars as followers who come in very come EARLY but engage in the "bigger" unethical practices within the organisation for example?

My response would be having the late followers whom I have recognised as stars coached and if after a week coaching they are still coming late, I place a penalty. which would be paying some moeny to the organisation at the end of month for days they came late. This would be my executive decision. I have seen this practiced and it was effective. Idea here is that for late days, the business suffered and lost some money so they pay for those days. And it shall be deducted from the salary at the end of the day rather than firing for lateness. I guess I choose this because I have seen it work.

But for the second situation. I guess the follower would earn the red card.

While typing this...what came to my mind was, it is good for an organisation to identify what their unethical grounds are. But again even after these are set, there should be measures set to manage these in situations where they are broken.

I worked for an organisation where bribery was not accepted for any contract or deal what so ever. We had worked out on deals worth thousands of dollars just because the managers from the organisation who wanted to offer us the contract asked us to give them 10% in order for them to help us win the deal by insisting to their top management that they wanted us to deliver that solution. And its was quite clear that we would have won this contract because they even confirmed this from all angles as we fortunately were the only recognised citrix virtualization platform partners in the whole of West Africa as at then. So we were quite competent and passed all the tests but for that one....Well I would say we passed it too because we did not heed.

I mean that is the common practice within that industry. But as an organistation, we decided to work away from such a large amount of money which we would have been so happy to earn at that time in the business just because we were asked to offer 10% for bribery of some sort.

Most of the people could not understand why the CEO chose to work away as we were already dancing to a raised salary and new official cars. But it clears he placed his values higher.


Personally, I think from the leader's perspective, the first can be worked on through self-development but the second situation needs a deeper reorientation.


The Law of Requisite Variety

The law of requisite flexibility states that the person with the most flexibility of behavior will either control or lead the situation. This is one of the lines I picked in class so I read a liitle about it and found out that since people's behaviors are not the same across the team and so are the tasks sometimes, in this case, for effective leadership, the leader's ability to manage the variety (individual differences and unique task) is called flexibility. I personally think this law will be useful in the future. So its being flexible in the way we behave in order to be able to lead the variety of behaviors in the team/department that we lead. Here we go again, FLEXIBILITY. I can remember blogging on flexibility in communication...Oh did I? Well if I didnt I must have forgotten because I did planned to. Yes we had a discussion in class centred around flexibility in communication. Paul says it helps a leader to build and revive rapport when necessary.


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