Our organizations can be microcosms of the communities we all hope to live in. They can set a tone for a model of civility and cooperation. As CEOs we have the opportunity to demonstrate what trustworthy leadership looks like and how to build respect in our organizations. We do this by acting as moral leaders with a focus on creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard and respected.
One of the most critical aspects of leadership is moral leadership. It is not enough to lead with an eye toward the bottom line, we are charged with creating a culture of cooperation and belonging. This is what ultimately makes our institutions thrive and become the places people feel an affinity toward and want to be a part of. When we lead with the intention of creating a safe, trusting workplace and creating a culture of caring it will come back to us and ultimately be reflected in our bottom line.
As leaders we establish the tone and the culture for our institutions. The decisions we make and priorities we set say a lot about the ethos of our organization. Our own success is intrinsically linked to the team we build around us. What are some of the questions, the gut check we need to be engaging in to assure we are on track in our role as moral leaders? Do we look past the support staff on our way through the door, or do we stop and greet each person in a manner that lets them know that they matter? Do we know the names of each and every person in our organization and do we remember to celebrate their joys and share in their personal sorrows? Have we created personnel guidelines and practices that embrace individuals and assure for an emotionally safe workplace environment? It is important to be able to ask and answer these questions with honesty.
The external benchmarks for success may be about fiscal growth, communal impact, or product innovation, however if we are not running a healthy organization sustaining our goals will prove to be difficult. The entire team is an integral part of our success.
As leaders we are often tasked with making tough decisions, choices that may impact people’s livelihood, may impact our constituents and the services we can offer and may upset financial stakeholders.
The more included our entire team feels, the more support you will have when and if you have to make tough choices. The mark of leadership is making the hard call when no one else wants to, it is the ability to stand up and do what we know is right. However, we do not have to do it in isolation, we have the support of the people around us if we have earned their trust.
When we lead with a focus on moral leadership, we can play a key role in bringing forward a society of respect. Our workplace can be a model of what we hope our communities will become.
Carole Zawatsky believes that tapping the greatest strengths of each individual and teaching them to work toward their natural talents builds the self-confidence needed to grow as a professional. She has excelled at supporting professionals in finding their voice, and letting go of the fears that might hold them back. She is particularly passionate about helping senior staff understand and align their budgets with the institutional mission and vision.
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