Nov 02 2021| Leadership | leaders
by Phil Eyre Leaders' Founder
Scandal is an obvious sign of sickness in a company. It is perhaps an exaggerated or ultimate form of the other signs of illness. Often, the point at which an individual or company is discovered to have been breaking the rules follows an extended period of rule-bending, perhaps minor infractions that have escalated. The problem is that they have been unchallenged or removed sources of challenge. Margaret Heffernan describes this dysfunction wonderfully in her book Wilful Blindness. Leaders who are unwilling to address the signs of failure will themselves fail.
I’ve yet to encounter a board pack that has the agenda item ‘avoid scandal’. Yet much good governance is designed to achieve precisely that. The leadership problem is that the seeds of scandal sit in human behaviours and attitudes. For example, regular feedback is good governance; meetings can be measured. Being willing to be wrong, listening and acting on criticism is a choice and takes practice.
Effective leaders create the conditions where good governance becomes a value-add to the company. Rather than treating codes of practice as an inconvenience, they embrace process, guidance and law as tools towards health and sustainability.
Good leadership is significantly about creating healthy companies, identifying and tackling signs of sickness before they become serious or fatal. Healthy leaders = healthy companies.
To read the full article, click here.