Leadership and Professional Conduct

Where there is poor management, there is office politics. There has never been more of an exact statement ever made, except for the statement "The sky is blue." Unless of course it's raining.

There is a parallel here. The parallel is that when there is office politics, the sky is hardly ever blue. In offices where there is poor management, there is little or no leadership. What people do is they resort to the lowest common denominator. The environment becomes negative. People walk around on guard. They are more concerned with how they appear, their image, their prestige, and thereby things turn into a zero sum game. Things become negative where people are so focused on not losing something that they are speaking in misdirections, sending cryptic emails, attending meetings to win or at least not lose, and performing actions to cover their backsides or take something from someone else.

The organization becomes dysfunctional very quickly.

This usually happens because the leadership of the organization doesn't know how to lead and set the example. It is often a result of warfare with other divisions. It is often a result of not setting principles and rule and speaking and living a code of professional conduct.

It is also a by-product of multiple organizations having separate P&Ls treeing up into another larger unit.

I realize I am on the verge, the precipice of organizational heresy. Every organization should live and die on its own. Eat or be eaten. Kill or be killed. Be number one or two. Good is the enemy of great.

I get all that. It's the stuff of testosterone, chest thumping, I am bigger and stronger than you, jungle warfare. We are beyond the jungle aren't we?

Teamwork is a force multiplier. Infighting or politics is a force divider. Politics weaken the organization. It is like the black plague of Europe--a scourge of death and destruction and panic.

A real leader understands the importance of professional conduct and behave in a manner that lifts people, inspires people to be better. To lead others take skill and acumen. To manage others takes no skill at all.

If you ask ten people, what would make you work harder, smarter, better--all of them would say, "Someone (a leader) who inspires." When asked what this means, people say, "Someone who respects my talents and allows me to draw upon my strengths."

Managers don't know how to do this. So they manage people like they manage projects. Managers look for what's wrong, they look for holes, and what can go wrong. This is a great way to manage a project and manage things. But it is a terrible way to lead people.

Inspire people. Look for their strengths and allow them to flourish. Explain how you want your managers to manage and lead. Explain that the goal is for the company to grow, the division to grow and that is one for all and all of one.

You know you are getting somewhere, when your team meets, and people are actually conducting themselves in a manner where people say, "How can I help you?" to another colleague and really mean it and follow through.

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