In today’s organizations there is a greater focus on employees stepping up to be leaders rather just managing their respective responsibilities. It is not enough to simply manage tasks and perform your delegated responsibilities any more employees are expected to take initiative and motivate those around them to also be leaders even if you are not a manager by title. In order to be a leader, one must start by making a commitment and learn those skills needed to model the way and be examples to others. As our organizations become more diverse, being able to manage ethics and diversity is also important as we will encounter and work with others who have different perceptions, thoughts and experiences than what we may be accustomed or familiar with. We must be become change agents in our organizations, people who challenge the status quos and established processes in an ethical manner. If employees are motivated and engaged, organizations will be successful and be able to withstand adverse environments. Modeling the Way
In all aspects of our lives we must be examples of how we want others around us to be whether in our own families, organizations or communities. How can we expect our employees to take initiative when they do not see their leaders taking initiative in their own roles? Even if you are not a manager or leader by title, people around you are still watching to see how you perform and behave. For example, I am an individual contributor in my organization but there are other employees around me who see what I do and how I behave in my role. I always have a positive attitude and a smile on my face which motivates them to also have a positive attitude. I have to be aware that I’m an informal leader in my organization even though I currently do not lead a team. On the other hand my direct manager is a great example on how a leader should behave and how to be an effective leader. She has the flexibility to work from home and she also gives me that option as a result that makes me work harder. Before introducing a new initiative, she always gets the buy-in of all our business partners so that when it is implemented, it is not a shock to anyone and everyone had an opportunity to share their thoughts. I never realized the importance of engaging everyone who will be affected by a new process or decision until now. Prior I was used to managers and senior leadership making decisions and the rest of the employees who were expected to follow them did not have any say or input. This is not an effective method of motivating employees. I have learned how important it is to seek feedback in order to continue doing the things that make you a good leader, change any actions that are not appropriate and start doing other things you would like your subordinates or those around you to do. “Setting the example is all about execution. It’s about putting your money where your mouth is… It’s about keeping promises. It’s about walking the walk.” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007) Managing Ethics
When we are a part of an organization, we are all responsible for managing ethics not just managers. Ethical practices should be woven in the fabric of the organizational culture and the organization should have systems in place to enforce ethical behavior. “When developing the values statement during strategic planning, include ethical values preferred in the workplace. When developing personnel policies, reflect on what ethical values you'd like to be most prominent in the organization's culture and then design policies to produce these behaviors.” (McNamara, 2008) First we must know what our own ethical values are, what are our belief systems? If we believe it is ok to steal from your organization because they owe you anyways, that person should take time to do some self-reflection and analyze their values. There are many laws in place that outline what an organization can and cannot do to assist managers in deciding what constitutes...
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