The best in Global Leadership studies April 2 2006
This issue our featured leader is Benjamin Franklin one of the founding fathers of America. We are also featuring the articles 'Moral Leadership: A Pipedream?' and 'Hope for the Self-Actualized Worker: The Conscious Organization' both of which feature in the 'Value Systems' section of the LeaderValues site. We also have to say a temporary goodbye this month to Melanie Smith our Editor and Webmaster, who is leaving us to have a baby. I am sure you would all like to join us in wishing her well.
LeaderValues offers a practical values driven approach to leadership development, based around the 4E's of Envision, Enable, Empower and Energize. You can study this model online or contact us for details of our Leadership programs, keynotes, workshops and assessments. We also welcome your articles and contributions for publication. Enjoy this issue!
I contend there are large, possibly huge, numbers of leaders at all levels acting immorally on a regular basis. If you find this statement shocking, I am glad because I believe that my concerns address a major problem in today's work setting: leaders inadvertently sucking the energy out of people rather than clearing the way for them, and very little being done about it. I contend that such leader behavior is both immoral and highly unproductive for the organization, seriously diminishing its ability to realize its vision.
Employees have commitment and energy drained from them by inappropriate leader behavior. This paper is about that behavior, not leaders' role actions. The former addresses the what and how of interpersonal interactions, and the latter everything else a leader will do, such as make decisions, convene teams, allocate resources, organize, plan, etc. These two aspects of leadership are clearly connected, but they are different and need to be addressed separately because they have very different impacts on staff.
Most people would not question that leaders at all levels and in all organizations should be ethical or moral (for simplicity's sake I am using the terms synonymously, but will use "moral" for effect) in their actions. As part of this expectation a considerable amount of attention has been focused in recent years on a few large-scale ethical issues---sexual harassment, bribery, poor product quality, pollution, intentional lying/misrepresentation, and discrimination are among those.
Hope for the Self-Actualized Worker : The Conscious Organization'
Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" declares that self-actualization is a state sought by all human beings once we have satisfied the more basic needs of survival, sexual gratification and belonging.
It seems quite reasonable that as we humans continue to evolve toward self-actualization and become more conscious beings there will be a concurrent need for our organizations to follow suit. In his book The Global Brain Awakens, Peter Russell points out the coming Age of Consciousness - an era when our full potentiality is much more of the focus of our collective energies. As this becomes more widely recognized and people continue on their individual paths of self-actualization, the enterprises, institutions and companies where human beings come together to produce results will need to change dramatically. If they don't, the fate of these organizations is simple. They will die.
The "Conscious Organization" is not an end-state where every worker has been certified "enlightened" and each and every element of the company, or division or bureau, or agency, or institution is spotlessly cleaned of any residual unconsciousness. The Conscious Organization, is one which continually examines itself, committed to becoming as self-aware and responsible as it can, at that time in its life.
'Leadership Passages - The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make or Break a Leader'
The business world has a never-ending demand for books on leadership. Even when business is soft, the publication of new leadership books just keeps rolling on. That is understandable, since leadership is a key business skill. But it also means that new books have a lot of competition. Just being new isn't enough. They must stand out from the crowd by having something new to say. Leadership Passages passes that test easily by giving an unusual and illuminating perspective on leadership.
Most books on leadership fall into two broad categories - those describing how to acquire the essential skills that form the basis of leadership; and those that focus on the personal character and integrity needed to be a good leader. These two approaches to leadership are often discussed in an either/or manner. Leadership Passages rejects the either/or approach and insists that being a good leader is a both/and situation. Leaders need to have both skills and integrity.
Benjamin Franklin, statesman, inventor and economist was born one of 17 children in Boston on January 17th 1706.
Franklin made his mark in the printing industry and in 1733 began publishing the 'Poor Richard's Almanack, source of many famous phrases (such as "a penny saved is a penny earned") that are still in use today. In the 1720's and 1730's
Franklin began his civic contributions, organising a group called the Junto Club, which was essentially a forum for the exchange of ideas. He was responsible for the first library in America, the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia, and the first hospital in Pennsylvania. He also worked hard towards ending slavery in America long before others took up the cause.
One of a small group of men known as the Founding Fathers of America, Franklin was intimately involved in the development of all four of the documents that helped create the United States that we know today. Those documents were the Declaration of Independence; the Treaty of Alliance, Amity and Commerce with France; the Treaty of Peace between England, France and the United States; and the Constitution. Franklin was the only person to have signed all four documents.
It was estimated that his funeral in 1790 was attended by around 20,000 people and many more mourned the death of the man they called 'the harmonious human multitude'.
Renowned for his enterprising nature, his hard working attitude and his skills in both writing and negotiation, Franklin had a strong sense of how things should be and gained the cooperation of others by honouring them with the credit that they were due.