What is the Ultimate Goal of Leadership?

Goal of LeadershipBy Linda Fisher Thornton

What is the ultimate goal of leadership? This question seems simple enough at first, and then begins to get tricky because it can’t be answered in one simple statement.

  • Is the goal of leadership to provide direction and model the performance we expect from others?
  • Is it to respect and serve?
  • Is it to support others and remove obstacles?
  • Is it to teach and mentor?
  • Is it to help bring out the best in those we lead as we work toward a common purpose?

Of course, leadership is about all of those things and more. So what is its ultimate goal? Here are four very different ways of thinking about the ultimate goal of leadership.

Profit

Using the Profit perspective, the goal of leadership is to ensure that the organization makes a profit so that it can continue its work. A theme song for this perspective might be “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays (theme song for the U.S. version of The Apprentice).

People

Using the People perspective, the goal of leadership is to bring out the best in people through respect and care, and continual support for their success.  A theme song for this perspective might be R.E.S.P.E.C.T” by Otis Redding, sung by Aretha Franklin.

Service

Using the Service perspective, the goal of leadership is to serve others in ways that uplift lives and communities. A theme song for this perspective might be Lean on Me” by Bill Withers.

Greater Good

Using the Greater Good perspective, the goal of leadership is making choices that ensure a good life for future generations. The theme song for this perspective might be We Are the World” by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie.

The question is not “Which one of these perspectives is right?” because they are all important ways of thinking about the goal of leadership. They are part of a bigger view that incorporates many dimensions of leadership responsibility. The question is “How can we honor all of them?” In my new book, 7 Lenses, I explore these concepts in a framework of 7 important perspectives on what responsible leadership includes.  A 7 Lenses Book Club Discussion Guide is available to help groups discuss what they have learned and how they can apply it for individual and organizational improvement.

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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2014 Leading in Context LLC 

 

 

Leadership and…Ethical Brand Value

Brand Value is more important than ever, and ethical leadership is an important part of it. Trendwatching.com’s April free briefing (so check it out soon!) is called “Brand Butlers: Why Serving is the New Selling.”  Here is an excerpt:

With pragmatic, convenience-loving consumers enjoying instant access to an ever-growing number of supporting services and tools (both offline and online), brands urgently need to hone their ‘butlering skills’*, focusing on assisting consumers to make the most of their daily lives, versus the old model of selling them a lifestyle if not identity.   Brand Butlers: Why Serving is the New Selling, Trendwatching.com Briefing, April 2010

Ethisphere has posted an article about how your business ethics will impact your brand value. It includes enough information to use for corporate discussions about how ethics can impact your organization’s long-term success.

The way in which corporations conduct business has changed dramatically in recent decades. The industrial complex, traditionally based on hard assets, has evolved. Three decades ago, according to a report published by Thomson Reuters and Interbrand, 95 percent of the average corporation’s value was composed of tangible assets. Today, 75 percent of the average corporation’s value is now intangible.

Accordingly, the most valuable asset for most corporations is their good name, or their brand and reputation. According to a recent report published jointly by the World Economic Forum and Fleishman-Hillard, three-fifths of CEOs surveyed believe that corporate brand and reputation represents over 40 percent of a company’s market capitalization.

Brand Promise: What’s Your Ethical Brand Value? , Ethisphere.com, November, 2009.

The article also includes information about the “Ethical Business Value Metric (EBVM):”

The value that an ethics program brings to a company’s Brand Reputational Value is a company’s Ethical Business Value Metric (EBVM). EBVM is the ethical underpinning of a business operation and generally, as a ratio, contributes between 20 and 65 percent of the overall Brand Reputational Value of an enterprise. EBVM will vary widely depending on specific industries and companies. In simple terms, what it calculates to is what business ethics is worth to a business.

Brand Promise: What’s Your Ethical Brand Value? , Ethisphere.com, November, 2009.

 

For New Blog Posts, visit LeadinginContext.com/Blog

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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?
 
  7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
  About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2010 Leading in Context LLC 

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