Posturing, Politics, Trust and How Not to Become a Putz

I found the following article by an anonymous source that really seems to hit the nail on the head. Regardless of what business you are in, this type of leadership “misdirection” seems to take place. This is a call to those with integrity to stand up and do what is right.

“In business, a lack of leadership and vision leads to dysfunction, poor morale and the general failure to meet goals and objectives.

How does this happen? In organizations, similar to athletic teams who on paper have the most potential and never deliver, if there is a lack of unified vision and shared, consistent goals – negativity and power stances most often take center stage. Usually the void is filled with personal gain for those who profess to be providing leadership when all they do is add a whole new layer of chaos and negative politics.

When leadership is lacking it takes a strong, ethical person to rise above such chaos and take control. All too often ambition is not the strongest trait of an ethical team player’s personality and therefore this rarely happens. What typically occurs when this void exists is that chaos leads to a lack of confidence among employees and eventually trickles down to the customer. Ultimately, this environment can undermine the success of the business and lead to the potential for business failure. It is the ancient myth of “Hubris” being played out time and time again.

As Sun Tzu points out in his centuries old treatise on the “Art of War”:

When your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take the challenge of your extremity. Thus no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

How does a company avoid such a scenario?

While I have simplified this concept, we have all experienced this, to some degree, and to delve into the intricacies of failure seems of little use. How to avoid such pitfalls is the real challenge.

It takes a diverse group of personalities to make a company successful, but one trait, above all is the most important….TRUST.

*Trust in knowing that everyone is committed to the same vision
*Trust in knowing that leadership has it’s employees best interest at heart
*Trust in knowing you have that same interest for those who report to you
*Trust in knowing success is a shared value and one that can only be achieved through failure without retribution
*Trust in knowing all your peers have high ethical standards and understand the meaning of “what is right” regardless of personal gain

A company cannot invest enough in developing an infrastructure based on trust. To skimp in this endeavor only leads to chaos. Again, as Sun Tzu expounds upon in his “Art of War”:

We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.

If you cannot trust someone, how can you work side by side with this person knowing that his/her motives are different than your own? It is no wonder that Asian cultures strive to get to know the person before they ever do business with them.

Define your own values and that of the company you work for – be transparent. Don’t engage in backroom politics, trust and be trusted, work toward a shared goal without thought of ambition and most of all….don’t be a putz about it. Long-term business gain comes from an environment of trust.”

Thanks to the author of this article for defining a key issue that leads to success or failure in business, on the athletic field, in government, or even in the home.

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