Day 67 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Five Consequences of Weak Character within Corporate Cultures!

Yesterday, I finished the preface for How to Lead by THE BOOK. The preface sets the tone for the entire work and has got to clearly explain the book’s purpose and provide an outline for what the leader can expect to learn.

In the preface I wrote for the need to build stronger, character-driven cultures within companies because the deterioration of society’s moral foundation is adversely affecting business cultures. Thus, a character-driven culture must be built with intent and not left to chance. The challenge to do so will become greater because business trends always follow trends in society. Thus, as society becomes more secular, selfish and corrupt, businesses with weak moral foundations can expect to see their own cultures deteriorate accordingly unless they take the actions necessary to build a character-driven environment.

Many leaders totally underestimate the cost of having a weak-character culture within their organization. They’re so focused on “profits”, that they don’t pay attention to creating an ethical environment wherein those profits are created and nurtured. Here is a snapshot of five consequences for failing to build a character-driven company. As you read them, determine how many are already causing your organization pain.

1. Employees will be more inclined to emulate the selfish, hedonistic, unethical, and narcissistic behaviors increasingly ubiquitous in society.

2. These behaviors will diminish morale, productivity, and concern for fellow teammates and customers alike. This, in turn, will increase the likelihood that consumers will develop a greater aversion to dealing with people and buy more of everything online, shopping your prices until your products are completely commoditized and your margins trivialized.

3. The downward spiral of society’s collective character will entice leaders and followers with marginal morals to accelerate the pilferage of their organizations through new and shameless levels of greed fueled by a self-interest that would make Bernie Madoff blush.

4. Employees with weak personal values are tougher to manage. Since they don’t believe in absolutes, fail to take responsibility, are convinced that anything goes and that accountability is unfair, you can expect increased turnover, an escalation of hiring and training costs, and low customer retention.

5. The new rules and policies you’ll need to install to prevent, police, and punish iniquitous behaviors will consume untold time, energy, and financial resources.

The five consequences listed here reflect only a modicum of the fallout you can expect to endure as the collateral damage from today’s “value system” cascades and infects every fiber of business and society. Worse, the behaviors I’ve listed are inevitable, and here’s why: As society becomes more adept at rationalizing away ethical standards in order to satisfy its quest for more financial and personal pleasure, business leaders and subordinates with weak moral foundations will follow the popular trend and be swept into the same sick cesspool, dragging their companies down with them. They will fall for everything, and engage in anything, because they stand for nothing.

The seventy strategies I include in, How to Lead by THE BOOK will provide you with a blueprint to fix, build, or stretch your current culture, placing your organization on a stone foundation of God’s principles, rather than on the quicksand of the gods and values of this age.

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