Man’s insatiable need for more, his (or her) craving for power, prestige and wealth is destroying our world. This has been true since the dawn of civilization, since Cain slew Abel out of jealousy. On the other hand, we have people, many people, who are decent upstanding citizens who try to do the right thing and who oppose those that focus only on personal gain. I believe that history has shown us that unbridled capitalism has failed, and so has socialism. Leaving us with a blend of Social Capitalism, which is where I believe the world is heading. Ok…so what? Where do we go from here and what does that mean to you. How can you survive in a social capitalistic society.

The answer is pretty simple. Lead with Honor. Ok – I’ll have to admit this is a bit self serving, but it isn’t meant to be. If those that are in positions of leadership, would remember that they have an obligation to make life better for those they serve (society, stakeholders, employees, family), we wouldn’t be in the mess we have are today. As I love to remind people:

If you are consumed with leadership because it will make you rich, that is called ambition, not leadership. The danger with ambition is that the more power you gain, and the less leadership skills you have, the greater the probability that you will hurt others, perhaps many others, on your rise to fame, power and glory.

To protect our way of life, we need to learn to Lead with Honor. We don’t have to look very far (and the list is growing all to rapidly!) for those that have led… with dishonor. Governor Blagojevich, Bernard Madoof, Enron Executives, the CEOs of the Big Three automakers, many Boards of Directors… the list goes on and on. Even our leaders is congress who have an automatic raise every year built into the system – regardless of performance – need to remember that they are here to serve the people.

How do we help teach people to lead with honor? By raising it’s visibility and by putting in measures that would force people to act responsibly. What does this mean to you?

  1. If you are in a position of leadership, you need to start thinking about what it means to lead with honor.
  2. Write a Credo statement for yourself and your organization – This I Believe….
  3. Put teeth behind your beliefs by creating measurable behavior into annual reviews that directly impact career progression.
  • Do you cus and swear constantly
  • Do you listen to others
  • Is your salary (or your staffs) reasonable? Not based on outside comparisons. I believe anything over $10 million/year is hard to justify unless everyone in your company is making over $200,000/year.
  • Are your products socially friendly
  • Are your products environmentally friendly
  • Was your company profitable, or on their way to being profitable

There are so many things that can be done here, if you are serious about leading with honor.

Lead with Honor!!!

JT