When leaders behave in ways that violate ethical norms and harm customers, it has a devastating effect on connection and employee engagement. A quick glance at business news headlines shows the extent to which unethical behavior has become a problem today. Many of these unethical practices seem to defy common sense, such as the restaurant owner in China who made headlines for lacing food with opium in an effort to get customers to return.
The best leaders, whom we at E Pluribus describe as servant leaders, maintain a mindset that they serve employees who in turn serve customers. This mindset inspires them to excellent performance and helps protect them from drifting towards unethical behavior.
If leaders don't maintain this mindset, they are likely to start serving themselves, which makes them vulnerable to drifting into unethical territory to beat competitors and maximize personal wealth, power and status. Ironically, this mindset only diminishes personal wealth, power and status because unethical behavior sabotages sustainable superior performance once a business' reputation is tarnished.
How do you protect yourself from the temptation of unethical behavior? Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.
Michael Lee Stallard, president and cofounder of Connection Culture Group, speaks, teaches and consults on leadership, organizational culture and employee engagement. He is the author of Connection Culture and Fired Up or Burned Out. Follow him on his blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.