Does your company’s work save your workers from boredom? Or have you dumbed it down so much that even a monkey would yawn?
Does your company’s work save your employees from vice? Or is the work itself a vice, as your whole organization swindles your customers, deceives your recruits, and outsmarts the communities in which you operate?
Does your company’s work save your workers from need? Or are their jobs actually J.O.B.s – as in, Just Over Broke?
Imagine recent outcomes at GM, and Toyota before it, if some frontline engineer – or even assembly line worker – used the company Intranet to say “Hey, CEO, there’s a fundamental design problem with (fill in the blank),” …and the CEO stopped production while the glitch was fixed, even if that meant months of stalled production.
Ethics today save you money tomorrow. But that’s not all.
Do you want to know how to identify a truly successful person? It isn’t the car they drive, the title on their business cards, or the heft of their wallet. All of that stuff is fleeting, and all of that stuff is about them. It’s ego food.
No, the way a wise person measures her own success is more like this…
You know those BS statements you see wherever you go? The stupid mission statements, lame values statements, and epically unimpressive purpose statements on posters all over your company walls? The really long ones with the convoluted sentences that were clearly written by a committee, each member of which had his own turf to defend? The ones that even your CEO can’t recite without reading off a teleprompter?
Want to be trusted? Don’t seek it out. Trust is something you earn, not something you ask for or demand. It doesn’t work that way. Think of trust as a result, not an action itself.
It’s important (and far more fruitful) for a leader to strive to be trustworthy instead of trusted. But trustworthy isn’t an action either. You can’t declare yourself trustworthy, much as crooks and con men, used car dealers and self-described “trusted advisors” throughout time have tried. Being trustworthy is also a result, not an action itself.