Ethical Leader- Ken Chenault
Kenneth Chenault, is the current CEO of American Express Credit Card services. He started working in American Express in 1981, in the Strategic Planning Group. Since then, he has worked his way up, climbing the corporate levels and getting elected as the CEO of American Express in 2001 (Barton , 2011). Ken Chenault has been widely praised in the media, newspapers, speeches and various other events for his ethics, integrity and management skills. His leadership skills, management methodology and distinct way of work makes him one of the most ethical leaders in the industry today. Ken Chenault has always been considered a very practical and effective leader. There are various reasons and incidents, which have helped establish Ken Chenault as an ethical leader, who cares for the success and well-being of his firm and his employees. After the attack of 9/11 on the world trade center, when most of the institutes were looking into their financials and losses, Ken Chenault, whose office was right across from the World Trade Center, thought of the safety of his employees and the convenience of his consumers first. He arranged chartered planes for the people. He also donated $1 million to the family members of employees of American Express who died that day (Barton , 2011). The American Express representatives were instructed to assist in booking flights, waiving maximum fees possible and going above and beyond their means to make things happen for the customers and their employees (Mahajan, 2013). The money he donated and the services he provided to the people in time of stress shows his high ethical standards and moral values, which he sticks to even during the most critical of times. These actions show how effective Mr. Chenault is, in his leadership. Multiple surveys and analysis, done with the inputs from the employees of American Express, stated that American Express follows a very open culture. Ken Chenault is known for his compassion and morale in the company. He is one of the few CEO’s who have been known to have an open door policy, that allows anyone from any part of the organization to come in the CEO’s office and share their ideas, issues, news, etc, with them (Mahajan, 2013). Ken believes that there should be no issues in reaching out to your seniors and speak your mind out. This process helps all to learn together and grow as a team. He believes in treating his employees with respect since they are the ones playing a major role in effective functioning and growth of American Express. Ken has been a personal mentor and a supporter to many young talented professionals in American Express, and watched them rise through the ranks in American Express and become successful (Mahajan, 2013). Ken has also been a huge supporter of ethnic diversity in American Express. Since, he started as CEO of American Express, minorities and ethnically diverse group of people have constituted about 17% of the managers in American Express (Bianco, 1998). Ken is known to spend his lunch hour talking to the employees at the ground level of the business as he believes that this is the group of employees that have the maximum knowledge and brightest ideas to give, and run the business. This shows his selfless personality and respect of people irrespective of their status in the company. His values of integrity, treating employees with respect and dignity, accessibility and openness makes him one of the most ethical leaders in the business world today. Ken Chenault has been awarded many times with various public service and social recognition awards. Recently he was awarded with Third Lantern Award in 2010 for individual commitment and dedication to public services (Bianco, 1998) . He has initiated many multi-million dollar services, funds and charities for enhancing the lifestyles and living conditions of the under privileged and for the preserving and restoring for the national monuments and...
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