Leading Edge – October Edition 2019: Introduction

Ann Messenger, Chair of the Board

Welcome to the October edition of Leading Edge.

This month we’re thinking about ethical leadership. The father of management thinking, Peter Drucker, once wrote, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”. In a century fraught with the consequences of unethical leadership behaviour from the global financial crisis, to racial and gender inequality, to climate change, the topic of corporate social responsibility grows increasingly more prominent especially as the worlds of the personal and the professional become intertwined. Good corporate citizenship is now, more than ever, a baseline expectation of businesses, not just of the individuals it employs, as brands and organisations wield enormous impact on our society and environment.

Around the world, in the last decade, we have witnessed countless acts of corruption and moral bankruptcy by leaders at every level and industry – their actions disrespected staff, stakeholders and the community, sacrificing core values of honesty, fairness, trust and consideration. As leaders, making ethical decisions revolves around the people we impact, not the profit we generate. Ethics, whilst not a hard or soft leadership “skill”, and not a behaviour that can necessarily be taught, is a social duty leaders have to their people. Like the Hippocratic oath to medical professionals, good leaders regard their position as a responsibility to always do good by their staff and, by extension, society. As it exists across all disciplines, ethics in leadership doesn’t subscribe to any hard or fast rules. Different situations call for different actions, and applying the right judgement to each circumstance takes great practice, perception and wisdom.

At the Institute, across all our leadership development services, we embed values of ethical practice to ensure professionals and businesses are equipped with the applied knowledge and insight to uphold a high standard of leadership in the workplace and beyond. From Chartered Manager, to development programs to Masterclasses, ethics forms a core foundation to the leadership skills we develop.

This month, the Newcastle Herald published a story on ethical leadership, referencing our Chief Executive David Pich’s words in his ‘Who will step forward?’ article from earlier this year in response to the royal banking commission. “What makes a good leader and how can you tell if you are one? How do you know that the people running your organisation are equipped with the skills and ethics they need to manage successfully? What is the effect of bad leadership on a business and its people?”, the Newcastle Herald writes. The Institute gave our response to the Herald, which continues, “As an antidote to bad leaders and the devastating effect they can have on businesses, people and the wider community, Mr Pich has become the champion of the idea of a professional accreditation system for managers that holds them accountable to professional standards and a code of ethics in the same way that professions like accountants, lawyers and doctors have for many years.” Indeed, when accidental managers become promoted to leadership roles without the essential skills and framework to manage and lead, unethical decisions are made. For the Institute, the competency framework and code of ethics underpinning the Chartered Manager accreditation is an important step towards raising the standard of ethical leaders around the country. It is fantastic to see media around the country in agreeance with this philosophy, publishing stories on the impact of Chartered Manager and advancing the Institute’s vision. You can read the full story here.

From the perspective of the business, your organisation’s commitment to ethical leadership grows increasingly important in the eyes of stakeholders and consumers who have witnessed the impact of immoral leadership around the world. Ensuring your business’ staff act ethically as well as public trust your brand entails a vow of uncompromising values across the organisation. The Institute’s corporate team has helped hundreds of Australian businesses develop ethical leadership solutions that suit their staff, industry and size. From one-on-one coaching of individual staff members, to bespoke consulting services to analyse the organisation as a whole, to group workshops, there are limitless ways IML ANZ can help build stakeholder and public trust in your organisation’s ethics through professional and organisational development. If this sounds like an area in your business you’d like support with, get in touch with our corporate solutions team – email corporate@managersandleaders.com.au or call 1300 661 061. We’re here to listen and suggest practical advice to help you better manage and lead your people and organisation.

Across the years I’ve been Chair of the Institute’s Board, I have had the honour of meeting many inspiring managers and leaders passionate and dedicated to the ethical practice of leadership. It makes me extremely proud of our organisation to see passionate professionals leading the leadership landscape across Australia and New Zealand, advocating for management and leadership excellence by engaging with the Institute’s network. Since launching our exclusive Member Exchange mentoring program, experienced and upstanding members of our community have given their time and expertise generously to mentoring the next generation of leaders. For our younger, emerging and aspiring professionals, this has made a world of difference to their careers and the way in which they manage and lead. As our Membership continues to grow and our mentoring cohorts increase, we’d like to invite the Institute’s Chartered Managers, Fellows and Associate Fellows to step forward to Mentor future leaders. It is a rewarding opportunity for experienced professionals to further enhance their leadership skills, develop business networks, increase your profile in business and management and support the next generation of managers and leaders. Find out more information about becoming a Mentor on our website. If you’d like to enquire about becoming a Mentor, email mentoring@managersandleaders.com.au.

Thank you for your passion and commitment to, and practice of, ethical leadership as a Member of the Institute.

We hope to see you soon at one of our development programs or events.

Ann Messenger

Chair of the Board

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