Do Ethics Really Make You a Better Leader in Business?

http://www.leadershipdigital.com/edition/daily-leadership-innovation-2019-03-29?open-article-id=10125816&article-title=do-ethics-really-make-you-a-better-leader-in-business-&blog-domain=leadershipnow.com&blog-title=leading-blog

Do Ethics Really Make You a Better Leader

ETHICS IS NOT a word used very often behind the walls of companies and organizations. Many companies have a set of values and company policies. However, very few companies educate leaders about ethics and encourage leaders to discuss ethics with their teams. 

Ethics are usually an afterthought, taken seriously only after an event that causes a business or team to fall apart. If understood and put into practice by a dedicated leader, ethics have the potential to turn stagnant, declining teams into productive and engaged ones. Ethics enable new teams to continue to grow, sustain, and thrive as the individuals and the business evolve.

Ethics are the foundation for peace and progress. Don’t we all crave both peace and progress at work? Ethics are timeless principles for behavior toward ourselves and others that translate to specific actions.

Ethics are what fuel personal growth and make large-scale collaborative efforts work. The lack of clarity about what ethics are and what ethics really involve in action is the primary barrier for many leaders in practicing ethics at work. Here is how an understanding and intentional practice of ethics at work make leaders, and therefore businesses, stronger and more successful.

Truthfulness over time opens and repairs communication lines.

Ethics prize the principle of truthfulness. Though it seems straightforward, it often takes courage to truly be truthful with team members and peers. Leaders that practice truthfulness with team members build genuine trust over time. Leaders that practice truthful, transparent communication build a team culture of interpersonal respect and alignment.

A practice for cultivating trust is to have regular one-on-one meetings with team members. In your one-on-one meetings, leave technology and distractions behind. Give your team members dedicated focus, ask if they have questions, and give them positive and constructive feedback. Leaders develop trust through transparent and genuine communication. Teams united in honesty and truthful communications move forward as a cohesive unit. 

Opportunities for individual development fuel collective progress.

Leaders that understand and practice ethics at work are also better at motivating and empowering individuals in order to fuel collective progress. Another foundational ethical principle is the concept of non-stealing. In workplaces, non-stealing goes far beyond just stealing of physical possessions. Non-stealing in leadership involves not stealing (but instead giving) opportunities, knowledge, and acknowledgment to team members.

Leaders can practice the ethical practice of non-stealing by giving knowledge, skills, and opportunities to team members enable progress. In one-on-one meetings, share your skills and knowledge with team members. Mentor them as they work through a special project or assignment on their own. When individuals are given opportunities to grow individually, they are more dedicated and skilled contributors. Leaders that practice non-stealing understand that individual peace and progress must happen for each team member in order for the whole to move forward.

Non-attachment enables creative problem solving and the generation of new ideas.

Leaders often find themselves stuck, leading a stagnant team because they are attached to their ways or outdated beliefs. Beliefs about what is right or beliefs about people’s limitations often hold back the team from progressing. Leaders who are not open to new ideas and feedback compromise the collective progress of the team.

Non-attachment is practiced by letting go of your outdated beliefs about people, ways, results, or status. New ideas and suggestions that team members bring to the table are often the answers to proactively solving or avoiding problems. Don’t hold firm beliefs about the way things should be, how far someone should progress, or the exact way results should turn out. Allow space for limitless possibility and evolution to happen. Invite and evaluate new ideas and suggestions with an open mind. This practice enables collective progress. 

Positive communication and mindfulness foster focus and protect valuable energy.

Finally, ethical leaders are masters of cultivating the conditions for collaboration. In dynamic, fast-paced business environments, leaders and teams often find themselves rushing and producing work full of errors. People burn out quickly after long days of exhausting meetings. Small disagreements or misalignments turn into political issues. Arguments deter focus and negatively impact productivity and engagement. Ethical leaders know how to practice control of energy in order to cultivate focus and ease for their team. 

Control of energy involves communicating with a positive tone. Even when giving constructive feedback, ethical leaders start with a positive affirmation and use a tone of equanimity throughout the conversation. This is a sustainable rather than a short-sighted approach. This control of energy helps to cultivate calm and protect the energy of the team and themselves. Control of energy also involves taking constructive rest breaks often to restore and rejuvenate. A walk outside, away from the screen and often chaotic work environment can do wonders to reset your mind and body. Lead by example and encourage your team members to do the same. 

Ethics are the foundation for strong leadership and collaboration.

When understood and put into practice at work, ethics have the potential to fuel productivity and motivation. Ethical leaders cultivate focus, trust, and connection, which are key ingredients for successful leadership. Leaders that practice ethics in action find that the principles reach far beyond company walls and add value to their lives outside of work as well. Ethics are universal and add value to our work and life.

How can you put ethics into practice to strengthen your leadership? Many leaders don’t realize that diverse teams often have very different individual perceptions of what ethics look like in practice. Teams need to learn a collective language for ethics in order for ethics to be accessible instead of vague. Leaders can lead by example by putting ethics into.

 

 

 

 

Dare to Reach into the Darkness

https://www.leadingwithhonor.com/leading-with-honor-wisdom-for-today-august-10-2018/

“Dare to reach into the darkness, to pull someone into the light. Remember strong people not only stand up for themselves, they stand up for others too.” – unknown

 

ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH TO BE DUMB

Are you Brave Enough to Be Dumb

The courage to ‘not know’ may be the greatest leadership courage of all.

Mark Miller, the VP of High Performance Leadership at Chic-fil-A, told me that he would tell his younger self, “Stop trying to have all the answers.”

Not-knowing seems weak. Ego hides behind a facade of knowledge and competence.

Don’t pretend you know when you don’t. Most people know you’re faking it anyway.

Double benefit:

Humility enables leaders to not-know and makes space for others TO know.

Everyone waits for instructions from the all-knowing leader. Can you afford to have people waiting?

Courage to not-know instills boldness in others.

If you always know, they’ll stop offering suggestions.

Courage to not-know honors the skill and creativity of the people around the table.

Brave enough to seek advice:

Greg Dyke, Director of the BBC from 2000 to 2004 asked two questions when he took the helm of the struggling company.

  1. What is the one thing I should do to make things better for you?
  2. What is the one thing I should do to make things better for our viewers and listeners?

Francesca Gino observes that new leaders often feel a need to have answers (Like Mark Miller) and explain THEIR vision. It might seem weak to ask questions before establishing your competence as a leader.

Gino’s research indicates the opposite, “… asking for advice increases rather than decreases how competent you are perceived to be.” (Rebel Talent)

Tip: The use of “could” is better than “should”. There’s more space to answer openly if you ask, “What’s one thing I COULD do to make things better for you?”

Action steps for today:

  1. Ask a dumb question. “This might be a dumb question but I’m wondering …?”
  2. Ask your team, “What one thing could I do to make things better for you?”

Where might leaders need to practice not-knowing a little more?

How might leaders not-know in a leaderly manner?

 

 

 

 

WHY HUMILITY DELIVERS MORE RESULTS THAN ARROGANCE

Why Humility Delivers More Results Than Arrogance

Courage and humility:

You’d be wrong if you said humility is kin to fear.

Courage is the willingness and ability to fail and try again.

Arrogance needs to appear perfect so it plays it safe. It won’t try unless success is certain. Arrogance fears and rejects failure.

Humility accepts responsible failure and keeps going.

Wisdom and humility:

The arrogant become fools.

Arrogance learns slowly, if at all. It won’t accept advice or guidance from others because it believes it already knows best.

Learning is hard for arrogance.

Arrogance knows. Humility knows there’s more to know.

Humility learns from failure, improves, and gains insight. Arrogance, on the other hand, repeats ineffective behaviors and blames others for failure.

Humility learns because it listens. Arrogance despises listening.

Arrogance points fingers.

Humility takes responsibility and grows.

There is no growth apart from taking responsibility.

Humility and results:

Humility respects and appreciates others. Teams work hard for leaders who appreciate their hard work.

Humility connects with others and honors their talent.

Arrogance stands aloof and feels threatened when others shine.

Five practices of humility:

  1. Learning.
  2. Listening.
  3. Courage.
  4. Connection.
  5. Responsibility.

Which of the five practices of humility are most relevant to you?

How are courage, learning, and results connected to humility?

 

8 healthcare leaders share their No. 1 piece of advice

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/8-healthcare-leaders-share-their-no-1-piece-of-advice.html

Good leadership advice is meant to be shared. Here eight healthcare leaders — including CEOs, CFOs and chief strategy officers — offer the No. 1 piece of advice they would give other leaders in their field.

1. Rob Bloom, CFO of Carthage (N.Y.) Area Hospital. “The best advice I have is to find the courage to change what must be changed and accept those things that cannot be changed in the short term. Regardless of whether a hospital is profitable or struggling, there will be challenges. The difficult task is to determine where to focus resources while accepting criticism for problems that will not change the short-term viability of the organization. You have to learn to trust your judgment and resist pressures from others that might tempt you to alter your course based on their lack of understanding. It is very much a triage process: Stop the bleeding first, then worry about infection later.”

2. Mona Chadha, chief strategy officer of San Francisco-based Dignity Health’s Bay Area. “One of the key strengths of being a good leader is really listening and leading people by example. That to me is one of the successes. Then, do some thinking outside of the box. That’s been my mantra of success in the past.”

3. JoAnn Kunkel, CFO of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health. “The very first CFO I worked for in 1990 always said, ‘you’re only as good as your team. … I’d never be able to be successful without having you and the team working with me.’ [That CFO] was a very thoughtful and inclusive leader. He gave me opportunities to be part of the team and think strategically and develop into a leader. So since then, it’s always been my belief that we have a very strong team that should always participate. If we have someone that needs help, we have multiple individuals ready to step up. And working together makes us all better. My advice would be: It’s important to remember you are only as good as your team. Sometimes I think when you get into these leadership roles you can forget that. You always want to be inclusive, give credit to the work and the team and the efforts that help make you successful in your role.”

4. Michael McAnder, CFO of Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare. “I think what I’d say is try and look for the long-term play. You can’t manage this business on a day-to-day basis. You have to have a clear direction and stick with it. I think that’s probably the thing our CEO Kevin Brown has done really well. I have never worked at an organization with a one-page strategic plan before. Every meeting starts with it, and we use it at every presentation. That consistency has brought clarity. It’s also why we’ve gone from five hospitals to 11 in the three years I’ve been here. That resonates with other organizations when we talk about our plan. It’s really important. In addition, obviously, you have to act with integrity and character. If you’re in a position where you can’t do that, you have to make a different decision about whether you can keep working for someone.”

5. Alan B. Miller, CEO of King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services. “I often give a few pieces of advice to other CEOs and leaders, including:

  • Character is destiny — a person with good character will always be better off in life. Choose your friends carefully because you are known by the friends you keep.
  • Hard work is critical. If you are going to do something, do it well.
  • Hire the best team possible. Build trust, and rally the team to focus on a common goal.”

6. David Parsons, MD, CMO of Portland-based Northwest Permanente. “Listen to the people you lead and be honest about which problems you can solve and which ones you can’t. People usually don’t mind being told no as long as you are direct and honest about the reasons why. People detest ambivalence.”

7. Mike Pykosz, CEO and founder of Chicago-based Oak Street Health. “Be persistent and be motivated by your mission. One thing we found really early was everything is a lot harder and takes a lot longer than you think it will. Things that make a lot of sense to you and are super logical will always take a little longer. [Success] requires breaking down a lot of little barriers, including a lot of inefficiencies, a lot of complexities and mindshare. But whatever it is, be persistent and have faith that if you’re trying to do the right thing, and if you stay at it, you’ll be able to break down those barriers and accomplish these things.”

8. Michael Wallace, president and CEO of Fort Atkinson, Wis.-based Fort HealthCare. “I’d say visualize the outcome you want and then go get it. I also like the phrase ‘try hard, fail fast, move on, start over.’ You’re one step closer to a solution if the last one didn’t work. But don’t let perfect get in the way of good. I like to be 8 for 10 rather than 3 for 3. Failure is the byproduct of trying to move an organization forward. If I get 8 of 10 things right, I am going to end up further along, closer to my vision than if I wait to be sure about everything to get that perfect 3 for 3.”

 

 

THREE C’S FOR LISTENING LIKE A LEADER

Three C’s for Listening Like a Leader

THREE C’S FOR LISTENING LIKE A LEADER

Listening is a vast ocean surrounded by empty beaches.

I’ve been paying attention to listening, both my own and others. You’re more likely to meet a red-crested tree rat* than to meet someone who actually listens.

5 reasons shallow listening is normal:

  1. Desire. Listening is such a bother.
  2. Ignorance. You might listen if you knew how.
  3. Time. Hurry up. The clock’s ticking.
  4. Energy. You don’t have energy to listen deeply.
  5. Discipline. On a list of “hard things to do,” listening is near the top.

Set the stage for deep listening:

Unfocused conversations feel like chasing chickens.

Establish conversational direction or you’ll end up exhausted and disappointed.

  1. What’s on your agenda today?
  2. What good thing might come from our conversation?
  3. What would you like to accomplish during this conversation?
  4. What’s important for you to bring up during this conversation? What’s important to you about that?

Three C’s for listening like a leader:

#1. Character.

#2. Calmness.

Breathe deeply.

Although listening takes energy, it requires a calm spirit.

Inner agitation blocks listening.

#3. Compartmentalization.

Set a fence around your listening space. You don’t have anything else to do except attend to the person speaking.

Explain time limits before you begin. Because listening requires rigor, you might need to set short-time limits.

After explaining limits, attend fully.

The character of a listening leader:

#1. Courage.

Churchill put it this way, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

#2. Compassion.

“Compassion is the quality of having positive intentions for others. … It’s the ability to understand others and use that as a catalyst for supportive action.”**

#3. Confidence.

Insecurity seems to loosen tongues and close ears.

#4. Openness.

A closed mind lies behind closed ears.

Poor listening is a character issue.

What’s one thing you could do that would make you a better listener?