Ethical Leadership: C-Suite Problems Should Be Corrected Quickly

What Would You Call These C-Suite Behaviors?

The title of the list below could be “Ethical Leadership Problems” or it could just as easily be “Things to do in Order to Ensure That Your Business Will Fail.” Are any senior leaders in your organization doing any of these things?
  • Failing to stay current in a professional field
  • Refusing to listen to company employees
  • Violating company leadership standards, but asking others to meet them
  • Making decisions without seeking input
  • Skipping training required of other company-wide leaders
  • Asking employees to do work you are not willing to do

Why Does C-Suite Behavior Matter So Much?

C-Suite behavior matters because people do what they see the senior leaders do. If employees see dysfunctional behaviors among senior leaders, they assume that there is complete acceptance of those dysfunctional behaviors throughout the organization and see it as a “green light” for them to use those same behaviors whenever they like.

Why Aren’t C-Suite Problems Dealt With Quickly?

It is definitely uncomfortable to talk with a senior leader about behaviors that are bad for the organization. That discomfort can lead to delaying the conversation until the situation has gotten out of hand.

The “green light” that employees “see” that may lead them to use negative behaviors when a senior leader does can cause those problems to spread like a virus until you have moved from one C-Suite leader using dysfunctional behaviors to an entire organization using dysfunctional behaviors.

Don’t wait.

Want to Learn More?

Lessons From Team Fumbles: How senior leadership teams can make-or break-an organization by Susan Lucia Annunzio,

In the article Why Do Businesses and Leaders Fail? Dan McCarthy references Jim Collin’s book “Why the Mighty Fall” and discusses more destructive leadership behaviors that can lead to business failure.

Linda Fisher Thornton is Owner of Leading in Context LLC, a consulting firm that provides tools for leading responsibly in a complex world.  She is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Leadership for the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.

March 2011 Press Release: New Approach Makes Leadership Ethics Training Accessible in a Down Economy The most recently published Leading in Context® Training Module “Different” is at the intersection of Diversity & Inclusion, Innovation, Leadership and Ethics.

About Linda Fisher Thornton
Author of 7 Lenses, Speaker, Bringing Out the Best in People and Organizations Through Proactive Ethical Leadership, CEO Leading in Context, 2014 Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior, Adj. Assist. Prof. of Ethics and Leadership, UR SPCS

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