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Management Ethics Making the right choice Leadership comes from experience, training, practice, obser-vation and if you are fortunate, a good mentor. The Webster’s dictionary describes ethics as: “an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior.” Most of us have experienced a variety of directors that demonstrated a style of leadership we admired, respected or in our opinion did not portray admirable qualities. What do you do when you have entered a position under a director that you and several members of the staff only respect the title the director has achieved but not the individual? A good manager/director should always lead by example with their focus on fairness, equality, good ethics and rational judgment. If the leader does not demonstrate most of the aforementioned characteristics, there are a few choices you need to make. Should you report the unethical behavior or lack of leadership skills to the human resources department or should you focus on your own goals and production? Setting the latter choice as a priority may be the best path to take in the short term and it is a deci-sion you have to make. There are several different elements that will enable you to base your decision upon whether you want immediate change or you are working for a long term position within the current organization/corporation. A quick decision on your part is often not the right choice. This is often times based upon emotion and may backfire on you. I recommend weighing all of the aspects of your long term career goal and how this will benefit you. A poor leader, from my experience, also educates me on the judgments I make in the future when I am leading or mentoring staff members. If we only have great leaders how do we compare from an ethical perspective. Learn from all leaders whether good or bad and look for methods you want to embrace that will strengthen your own value as a director as you move up the ladder of success. To quote Stephen Covey: “I am not a product of my circum-stances. I am a product of my decisions.” Make the decision that works best for you personally. Reporting the unethical management decisions performed by the director to the human resources department or upper management may not help your situation. However, at the time it may be the right path to take and could generate more discussion in upper management. The criteria of the behavior may be reoccurring and could have been aired by other associates. The choice is a tough one and certainly depends upon the specific behavior performed by the director who is displaying poor judgment below ethical standards. Examples of this may be alcohol or drug abuse; harassment; physical abuse; or other major infractions. In these instances, it is my recommendation to report the circumstance immediately. Each associate joins the organization/corporation with various concepts of good behavior and bad behavior in the office environ-ment. Therefore the unethical management behavior is judged from a plethora of backgrounds that are brought to the table. You may judge a behavior as appalling and your fellow associate may turn a blind eye to the behavior. Keep this in mind when considering contacting upper management or human resources. Educate yourself on what is acceptable behavior as it may vary with different cultures and in other geographic regions. In summary, reporting unethical behavior is a judgment decision you have to make. Weigh all aspects of the situation and decide what is the best path for you at this juncture. Ask yourself: Will this affect my career growth; will it change the director’s behavior; should I just focus on my work and pro-duction; is it best for the corporation if I report the behavior? Use your experience, training and your own values to make the right choice. LE By Richard B. Secord Richard B. Secord has over 25 years of management experience with a primary focus in the hospitality industry. He is the former President of the Greater Charleston Hotel/Motel Assn. and a US Army War Veteran. Richard is currently a contract consultant and freelance writer. Email liveforsuccess@aol.com Connect Richard Secord  Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2016 Submit your Articles 17


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