13 Leadership Temptations (to Conquer in 2013)
January 2, 2013 5 Comments
By Linda Fisher Thornton
13 Leadership Temptations To Conquer In 2013
We’re starting a new year, with fresh possibilities, and it is a good time to think about our leadership values. What do we believe? How do we treat others? What matters to us? Can people determine our values just by watching how we treat people?
As we think about how we want to lead this year, we need to recognize that it is tempting to make easy short-term decisions that end up having ethical consequences in the long run. Sometimes those seemingly easy decisions are “easy” because
- we have oversimplified them
- we have only considered how our choice benefits us and have failed to consider its impact on others, or
- we have ignored important ethical factors.
The 13 leadership temptations below are very real and we have all faced them. As leaders, it is our job to carefully resist them. To do that, we first have to admit that they exist and that they challenge us, and then we must decide to take positive actions.
We all have the capacity to do good and to do harm. Let’s resolve to do good and to resist these 13 Leadership Temptations in the New Year.
Resolve to Conquer These 13 Leadership Temptations in the New Year
- The temptation to think that “ethics” is just about words and not about our choices
- The temptation to attack people instead of attacking problems
- The temptation to choose “quick fix” solutions that do more harm than good in the long run
- The temptation to judge others, and to think that differences are a threat
- The temptation to treat others with disrespect
- The temptation to avoid change when we really need to adapt
- The temptation to think that rules and laws are for other people, not us
- The temptation to profit at the expense of others
- The temptation to blame other people instead of examining our role and taking responsibility
- The temptation to treat employees as commodities rather than as human beings
- The temptation to ignore feedback that we don’t like
- The temptation to only read that which confirms what we already believe
- The temptation to do anything that sets a bad moral example for others
Author’s Note: This post was inspired by British ethicist Mary Warnock in her speech about scandals in the British Parliament, shared on Vimeo by The School of Life.
Linda Fisher Thornton is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Leadership for the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies. She is also CEO/Owner of Leading in Context LLC, a leadership development consulting firm helping business leaders lead responsibly in a complex world.
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