Business ethics is somewhat of an oxymoron if you take into account what has happened in today’s world financial markets and stock exchanges (Reminds you of the WorldCom and Enron’s) It implies that there are two kinds of ethics – business and personal. I believe you’re either ethical or you’re not. What does it say about you as a person if you behave one way at work and then behave differently at home? (It must get awful confusing at times to remember what “hat” you’re supposed to be wearing.) If there are two kinds of ethics, does that mean that it’s OK to con your clients and employees, but you shouldn’t con your friends or neighbors?
What does it say about the world that we live in when we question the honesty and integrity of the people in leadership positions both in Government and private industry? What does it say about the world we live in when Governments at all levels need to pass legislation requiring Chief Financial Officers to sign off on their company’s financial results to guarantee that they are factual; and if found not to be, they could be charged with a criminal offence punishable by law?
Question: What does a great manager look like? How does a great manager behave? Before you answer those two questions I think it’s important that we understand how humans communicate. According to research conducted by Dr. Ralph Nichols, we communicate 93% of the time non-verbally. Think about that for a moment. We communicate 93% of the time by our actions (a picture really is worth a 1000 words). I believe the real significance of that number is that non-verbal communication is based on perception. It is based on how the other person interprets your actions. If they believe you acted ethically – then you did. If they believe that you treated your clients and employees honestly – then you have. What you think doesn’t matter. It only matters what the other person thinks.
“You must do the walk if you are going to do the talk”. You must lead by example. (Everyone is watching and taking their lead from you). Employees are looking for managers that they can believe in. Employees are looking for managers that they can trust. What ever you say you’re going to do – do it. Being a great manager isn’t about being liked or popular. Being a great manager is about being honest, fair and consistent; it’s about applying the rules across the board. No one, and for certain not you – is exempt. Remember – People hear what they see – not what you say. Say what you do – and do what you say.