Leadership Values In the Workplace

Let’s examine our own decision making in the workplace. We are faced with multiple challenges everyday that require judgment, wisdom, and fairness. Nothing is ever simple and easy, and almost nothing is ever exactly as it seems. So often, the heart of the issue is only partially visible as if we are viewing through a fog. Some of us may find ourselves vacillating, incapable of rendering a verdict that we are comfortable with.

The passionate leader whose integrity is ingrained makes the decision based on the leadership values you have defined - simple principles of right and wrong.

Sometimes the most complex issues can be sorted out simply by asking yourself: “What is the right thing to do here?” Once you answer that question in private, you can then begin to formulate your answer for public consumption and devise a working plan to facilitate that decision.

Personal and professional integrity can be thought of as the guardrails on the road of life. As long as you stay the course, operate between the guardrails, and can sleep well at night, you are most likely making most of your decisions with integrity. We do occasionally lose our way and get on the wrong track, but the single most important thing to do if you get lost, is to retrace your tracks and get back on the correct road. Reflect on your leadership values and identify what’s missing or where have you not been acting in alignment with your values. Short cuts are not recommended here.

One final thought about making decisions with integrity concerns the expected outcome. Certainly, it is imperative to consider the consequences of any decision before making it public. But the consideration must be given based on who it impacts, what the impact is, and how this decision will be perceived in the public forum. The least concern should be how it reflects on the decision-maker. Katharine Graham made decisions about what to publish in the Washington Post based on her readership, how badly they needed to know, and what the consequence would be if that information were kept secret. She did not make those decisions based on how it would shape her legacy.

As each of us is faced with a similar predicament, let’s hope that we make our decisions based on the simple concepts of right and wrong, rather than if we think we will look good wearing it.

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey

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