Action Plans: Get Personal

There are two types of action plans that need to be developed if we are truly serious.

There are organizational action plans but we need to begin by getting personal. Gus Lee and Diane Elliott-Lee view courage so essential to leadership they wrote a book entitled, "Courage:The Backbone of Leadership". They found that we tolerate unethical acts at work, and look the other way when we observe character failings due to the lack of courage. Here are four steps to becoming a courageous leader

  1. Take personal responsibility for your actions. Here is the first step. You are ultimately accountable for how you act. Whether or not 'everyone else is doing it' or even if you might lose your job (unlikely) or have people gossip about you (somewhat likely), still, the choice is yours.
  2. Be honest with yourself. We believe you want to be an ethical person or you would not have taken this course. Learn from your mistakes. When your behavior contradicts your image of yourself as an ethical person, face up to that fact. Think about the reasons for your behavior. Determine how you can respond more ethically in the future.
  1. Accept criticism. You're not perfect. Your critics (supervisors, coworkers, customers) can identify weaknesses in both your ethical behavior and job performance. Even if you don't like the person saying it and even if they don't provide criticism in a constructive way, this is about making YOU a better person, not them. Try to listen and learn where you can improve.
  2. Keep yourself out of harm’s way. If you are put in a position at work where you feel you need to choose between doing the right thing and keeping your job, maybe you need to find another job. If you witness unethical behavior in a department, if a program has a bad reputation for mishandling funds or mistreating people, don't go to work there, keep looking for a job in a more ethical environment.