As a modern-day leader, you are held to ethical, high moral, and social standards. As a leader, you are held to high standards, but that bar is raised even higher in the modern era. Why? Because the present-day social environment has tended to expect that newbies measure up to their self-proclaimed moral and ethical standards, as they rightly should. What can you do to be sure you ‘stand up to the test’ in the area of leadership?
- Perhaps the most critical thing you can do as a leader is to clean up your act—if there is anything in your life, ethical or moral, which would not stand up to inspection if the entire world found out—you must eliminate it immediately. Do not give anyone an opportunity to think that you are a hypocrite.
- Ensure that every decision you make is humane and honest. You cannot finally lead, as a young leader or not when your actions and decisions are not above-board, honest, and fair.
- Aim for accuracy no matter what. When you lie or tell half-truths, others tend to feel that your entire administration is a sham. In fact, if you are telling half-truths and habitually lying, your administration may indeed be a sham.
- Learn everything you can about the tasks at hand, even if it means working in the creeks for a while. No one likes to be managed by someone who has never done what they are doing. This doesn’t mean you have to become an authority; just engage in the humble work long enough to understand the tiring aspects of the work. Another benefit to this is that you can more effectively brainstorm solutions to challenges when they arise since you have the experience.
- Lead by example. Do you assume your secretaries or employees to arrive on time for work and dressed well? Then it would help if you did the same. Sometimes, it is so simple to think that you have earned the right to come in whenever you feel like it or return from lunch whenever you want. Sure, you may have earned the right, but you gain far more by setting the example for administration. Do you expect others to work round-the-clock when a project is behind projections? Then you must be ready to do the same.
- Although you may think you have earned the right to assign away all the work, continue to be involved in productive tasks. By doing some of the work, you gain the respect of your subordinates and keep in touch with the flow of things. As a leader, it is easy to become disentangled from the real productive segment of your business and resultantly make decisions that look good on paper and appear good around the boardroom table but are useless when the rubber hits the road.
- Avoid pride and ego. Once in a leadership position, particularly if you are good at what you do, it is easy to start to feel that you are invincible. Once that transpires, you become vulnerable to pride and may make judgments you would frown on if your subordinates made the same arrangements. Maintain full accountability for your actions, and keep them above-board at all times.