Friday, April 23, 2010

Storm Damage - Why leading with integrity matters




While this article focusses upon the revelations of the systematic cheating by administrators within the Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, the article is about organisational leadership and not sport.

The Melbourne Storm is a multi-million dollar business. It is in the business of elite-sport, television and entertainment. The deception not just a sporting deception, it is a business deception and legal investigations may result in charges being laid. Time will tell.

Today many thousands of people will wake up feeling betrayed and disgusted by the behaviour of a small number of people. Michelle Hunt from www.dreammakers.org suggests that leadership involves a serious meddling in other people's lives. Many people will have their reputations tarnished simply because they work for the Melbourne Storm. If that doesn't highlight the serious impact that poor leadership can have on other people, then I'm not sure what does!

On the morning of Thursday 22nd April 2010 I was compelled to add a comment to an article posted on the The Age website. I was unaware of the Melbourne Storm issue that was to unfold later in the day. The article was titled, "Congratulations you're a manager....now what?". I was drawn to the article because it mentioned a series of tips for first time managers. However, one of the sentences in the article's introduction caused me some concern. The sentence was, "Is honesty always the best policy when managing up?". I thought to myself, "Why wouldn't it be?". If you are honest when managing up and you got into trouble for that, then my view is your organisation is not worthy of your commitment and you have a choice to make.

The 'war for talent' still exists so if you have a strong and clear sense of your values and a good work ethic, then my view is that you have choice regarding where you work. Working for organisations that aren't worthy of you commitment is therefore a choice.

To me preparation to become a leader starts well before a formal leadership role in an organisation is offered to you. It starts with becoming clear about your values and practicing them every day in all your life's roles. Vision without an understanding of your values can lead to behaviour, such as systematic cheating, that is inconsistent with the vision. I don't know the motives of the senior Melbourne Storm administrators for their behaviour. I do know that conscious development and mastery of your personal values takes time and is important for people to have mastery of their values before they commence formal leadership roles. It is my view that not enough people are clear about their values and how they are reflected in their behaviour at work. Are you clear about yours?

Please feel free to comment on this article.

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