A team works together to accomplish a common goal. A leadership team takes that definition several steps further and incorporates the various goals of the individuals that those leaders are guiding. Thus a leadership team is quite important in itself. However, there are specific elements of a leadership team, such as ethics and values, that must be understood and implemented.
Ethics and Values
Ethics and values tend to go hand in hand. The values that a business adopts tend to lead its moral compass and determine how ethical its practices will be. Visa versa, an ethical company usually holds high values. Whichever way you look at it, a consumer looks to a company’s ethics and values to determine if it is a respectable business worthy of patronage.
Ethics and values give consumers a standard to hold the business to, which can help to build their comfort level with the company. This can help to strengthen business relationships with both customers and other companies. By the same token, the ethics and values in a leadership team give employees a standard to hold the leaders to, as well as a model that they as employees should strive to follow. Without proper ethics and values in place a business could succumb to or be accused of unethical practices, which could come with legal ramifications and even business closure. Considering this, it is easy to see why it is important to set high ethics and values and keep them in place.
It is not only critical that you understand the value of ethics in leadership, but that you also understand how to implement these principles. There are four key steps that you can take:
- Brainstorm a value statement: You should take your time with this step and gain input from your employees, management staff, shareholders and anyone else expected to adhere to the values.
- Develop the value statement: Take all of the input you received and create a value statement that incorporates the majority consensus.
- Implement your values: It is not enough to just erect the value statement; you must incorporate it into the daily operations of your company. Take time to lay out expectations that coincide with the values.
- Evaluate: Periodically, you should survey your employees, management and shareholders to determine how effective the implementation of the values has been. As you do, take into consideration any suggestions or objections that you come across to help you fine-tune your company values so that they do not isolate or deter anyone expected to uphold them.
By taking these steps you can effectively create, implement and evaluate your value system, starting with the leadership and going all the way down the ladder.
There is a common saying that, “Where the head leads, the body will follow.” That saying is especially true in businesses. If the leadership does not practice and uphold strong values, neither will the employees. By understanding the importance of and implementing quality ethics and values, you can position your company for ethical dealings and a strong reputation.