Monday, December 16th, 2013


I’ve been reading and thinking about Nelson Mandela and his moral leadership that impacted the world.

My immediate reaction was to write about how moral leadership was sorely needed in business today.  Then I thought twice.  And, of course, when one thinks twice, things get confusing. 

Moral has to do with right and wrong, good and bad. Honesty.
Is that needed in a company that makes my–say–paper clips?
What’s the need or benefit for a moral leader and company of integrity?

It’s worth a discussion with your Executive team.
What’s constitutes right for our customers?
What’s constitutes wrong for our customer’s
And what constitutes good and bad for our customers?
What constitutes honesty for our customers?
This is not for customers to answer in a focus group.
This is for your top leadership group to agree on as a moral standard for the

Now do the same conversation with the focus on the people working in the company?

I’m always a little afraid of rigid right and wrong.  Too simple, even too simple minded.  A business doesn’t need to change the world.
But it does have to have its own kind of moral standard and integrity that fits
the business it is in.  

Try the conversation to see if there is  tight agreement on good and bad, right and wrong for customers and associates.  Make the answers specific and tangible.  Don’t be blind to the power behind this kind of moral alignment for your company.  I think it will take you beyond generic company values into renewed inspiration for your business.


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