Posts Tagged ‘personal ethics’

Why Go Along to Get Along Isn’t Effective Leadership

Regardless of organization, many in leadership roles embrace the “go along to get along” philosophy.  The problem with this belief is it demonstrates a lack of effective leadership.

Effective is doing the right thing.  In doing the right thing, leaders must first know what the right thing is. This knowing suggests the leader has strong personal ethics and is not willing to concede those basic core principles.

The Hollywood movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was all about the “go along to get along” philosophy. This fictional story though really non-fictional revealed how basic core principles take a dramatic hit when the “go along to get along” belief is embraced.

Lately I have witnessed a lot of “go along to get along” behaviors by local government leaders especially.  No one wants to rock the boat, to challenge the status quo.  So they sit like little bobble head dolls nodding their heads in agreement (go along) because they want to get along.

Some may remember one actress who won an academy award state “you really like me.”  The desire to be liked is inherent in most individuals as human beings are social creatures.

However real progress does not happen when everyone thinks the same way. Disruption is needed. Disruption will upset some people.  Leaders must have the fortitude to handle those upset people.

One impediment to effective leadership is a misplaced sense of loyalty.  Leaders sometimes are loyal to an organization or to one or two people.  They fail to understand where they should place their loyalty.

We witness this misplaced loyalty among politicians who are loyal to each other or to special interests. Then there are business leaders who are loyal to their shareholders at the expense of their customers.

Another impediment is the inability by those in leadership roles to provide constructive criticism without personally attacking others.  If some leaders had greater emotional intelligence, improved negotiation and communication skills, they could effectively communicate a “disruptive idea” without others being offended.

Effective leadership always returns to doing the right thing.  So the next time you are in a position where you as a leader (and we are all leaders) are considering “Go along to get along,”  remember to ask yourself what are the “right things” you are sacrificing? 


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Life Is Too Short to Plagiarize the Works of Others

Believe it or not, there are professionals who plagiarize the works of others.  One would think given the connectivity of the Internet, such individuals would realize they will get eventually caught.



One of my colleagues, S. Anthony Iannarino, was notified by someone reading this blog and engaging in some other research there was a sales trainer who had posted Iannarino’s on LinkedIn Pulse without giving Iannarino credit. In fact, this sales trainer replaced Iannarino’s byline with his own.

Unfortunately, this sales trainer did not realize his effort to plagiarize the works of others would unleash a firestorm of negative comments.  Now there are at least 50 people who know this person to be a fraud and a liar.  His other 200 plus posts on LinkedIn Pulse will be scrutinized as well as other Internet websites.

After 48 hours, this sales trainer did take down this plagiarized work.  However it would not have happened if Iannarino had not been informed nor had his community of colleagues not become involved.  I will add the comments on this LinkedIn Pulse article were scathing yet still very professional.

The Internet allows for a plethora of ideas and content.  It also provides unfortunately for opportunists to confiscate the intellectual property of others.  Plagiarism has always been with us as a society and it appears will continue to be with us.

My colleague is not the first person to suffer from such unprofessional and unethical behavior.  Thankfully he has built a community of ethical and professional colleagues who will come to his defense and the defense of other members within this strong community.

Most of us within this community have had our posts, blogs or articles plagiarized a little or a lot.  I guess when individuals lack core personal ethics as reflected by their business ethics plagiarizing the works of others is done without thinking. Maybe they think given there is so much content on the Internet, no one will catch them.

Those who plagiarize the works of others are like folks who get do-do on their tongues. Their mouths now need to be washed out with soap.  Having a strong community of professional colleagues who are more than willing to provide the soap helps in this task of mouth washing really helps.

As this posting began, life is too short to plagiarize the works of others.  So be careful and if you must quote someone or something, include the person, the website or publication.  By taking this action you actually demonstrate your business ethics and personal ethics while elevating your status in the eyes of your readers.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Business and Personal Ethics Trick or Treat?

Today is Halloween and many will hear knocks on their doors with the all too familiar “Trick or Treat” being spoken by young children dressed in scary costumes. Sometimes those in small business may feel that this trick or treat is happening more than just one day a year respective to business and personal ethics.

business-and-personal-ethicsIf  people buy from people they know and trust especially small business owners, when their vendors disappoint them because of failed business and personal ethics it makes selling much more difficult for the next person. Possibly this helps to explain why 90% of all earned sales happen between the fourth and 12th contacts.

For example as someone who works within the two realms of talent management and organizational development, I communicate with my clients with extreme crystal clarity as to the potential outcomes or results.  If I believe there may be significant challenges outside of my control, I inform my small business clients of those challenges from resistance to change to inconsistency respective to employee behaviors.

For me, business and personal ethics are one and the same as I am a one person shop, a sole proprietor.

My word is my bound.

If I believe my solutions will not correct the problem and provide a positive return on investment, I will decline the sales opportunity and if possible make a recommendation to someone who is better suited. A lost sales is always better than an unhappy client from my perspective.

A recent small business sales lead referral informed me that his firm invested $100,000 in a business consulting firm that had a national 5-star reputation and now this 80 year old business is defunct. One of the mantras of this consulting firm was its solutions could “double results.” For most small businesses, that is not much of a reach. With some marketing actions, I can double website visitors to sales leads.

When I wrote Be the Red Jacket, the second chapter was entitled “Unlock Your Values.”  I believe that business and personal ethics must be clearly defined before any other aspects such as sales skills or vision and mission statements.

If you wish to gain sustainable results for such as increase sales to customer loyalty, make sure your sales leads to your customers believe your business and personal ethics are always a treat and never a trick.

Read the reviews for Be the Red Jacket at Amazon.

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Behaviors, Beliefs, Congrunecy Clash and Business Ethics

Each day our behaviors and beliefs are in congruency or they are not  with our business ethics as well as personal ethics.



There are no exceptions to this statement, no “but ifs.”

We are judged or if you prefer evaluated on our behaviors from others. Additionally we internally evaluate both consciously and subconsciously our behaviors respective to our beliefs. Coaching Tip:  Business ethics and personal ethics should be the same.

Yesterday when engaged in executive coaching with a client who is a physician, she had considerable angst about not being in congruency with her beliefs and her own behaviors when dealing with support staff. She has high expectations and some of her staff view those high expectations as unreasonable because the overall business ethics have diminished within the practice of medicine. This does not mean her staff is not doing what they are supposed to do, but rather she would like them to raise the bar, to think crtically beyond the medical report in front of them because that is what she does.

Proactive thinking pulls business ethics closer.

Reactive thinking pushes business ethics away.

Each day whether we are small business owners, salespersons, C suite executive or business professionals we continually experience the “congruency dynamic” between our behaviors and our beliefs. How we handle this “congruency dynamic” will determine if we are in alignment with our personal and business ethics.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is the CRO and Heurist for ADVANCED SYSTEMS – The Next Generation of Talent Management. By embracing a common sense 3 step approach, assess, clarify and execute,  to both people (talent) and operations (management), she can quickly advance the best solution that works with her clients strengths while closing the gaps between strategies, structure, processes, rewards and people (Galbraith 5 Star Model). Her 3 key values of strategic thinking, proven processes reinforced by proven tools and connectivity afford her the opportunity of being ahead of the flow. Call Leanne at 219.759.5601 CST and allow her to demonstrate why she is the heurist you may be seeking.


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Sales Does Not Operate in a Vacuum


Sales or selling generate a lot of discussion as well as passion especially by noted sales training coaching gurus who make their money teaching specific sales skills. A discussion over on LinkedIn prompted me to respond about the need for alignment between:

  1. Strategy
  2. Structure
  3. Process/Systems
  4. Incentives/Rewards
  5. People

This is also called the 5 Star Model as developed by Jay Galbraith and is a great way to think about closing what I call the “change readiness gaps.”

Now some sales training coaching experts suggest with enough sales the other problems go away.  This is type of thinking is probably responsible indirectly for the Bernie Madoffs or Enron scandals.  Revenue is not everything. Securing new sales at the expense of other operations or people leads to unethical behavior.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Business ethics are personal ethics.

Sales does not operate in a vacuum.

In sales, all actions are directly or indirectly connected to other operational aspects of the organization.  Yes meeting revenue goals can take the eye of the others balls and possibly sweep these issues under the rug so to speak or as they say “out of sight out of mind.”  The problem disappears for a while, but will come back in months if not years later and create even more problems than had that issued been initially dealt with.

Sales are not the panacea for problem removal.

Sales are what keeps any organization moving forward.  They are necessary, but to focus on them by just improving the sales skills or sales process exclusively at the expense of other concerns or with the hope that when we improve sales life will be much better is foolhardy at best.

Common sense probably needs to return to sales training coaching programs as well as the advice offered by sales gurus and expert consultants.  Remember, people buy from people they know and trust first.  In many cases the most effective sales skills are a sincere smile and an open mind.

How many sales training programs focus on smiling and keeping an open mind or is the focus on overcoming sales objections and negotiating?

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Business Ethics Are Personal Ethics

Seth Godin in a blog post nailed the issue of business ethics by discussing that organizations are comprised of people. Sometimes, we forget that an organization or even a team is comprised on individuals who are united to achieve a common goal that could not be achieved by just one person within the given time frame.

My take on Godin’s posting was simply:

“business ethics are personal ethics”

When working with clients either as executive consulting or sales coaching, one of the first actions is to discuss the values of the organization and for that individual.  Within the strategic planning process, the creation of a values statement is one of the outcomes and in my humble opinion is the fulcrum for later successful execution of organizational goals and objectives.

So what are your personal ethics or better yet have you committed them to writing.  On the main website for ADVANCED SYSTEMS, the values statement has been clearly articulated. Here is it:

ADVANCED SYSTEMS’ values will continually raise the B.A.R. for our clients and stakeholders.

  • Build long term relationships
  • Achieve sustainable results
  • Results that deliver positive return on investment

Daily behaviors will demonstrate creativity, faith, gratitude, intelligence, innovation, intuition, learning, patience, quality work, reflection, respect, risk taking and thoughtfulness as we work with our clients and meet new individuals.

When we as individuals fail to describe in detail what behaviors based upon personal ethics are acceptable and what are unacceptable, then the anything goes attitude or belief takes over.  For it is our beliefs that drive the actions (behaviors) creating the results. What these personal ethics look like varies from the Ten Commandments to the Golden or even Platinum Rule. However the critical element is committing them to writing and then letting everyone know that violation of these positive core values is subject to disciplinary actions and possible termination.

By remembering business ethics are indeed personal ethics may change the discussion and actually improve the interactions between organizations and their customers both internal and external. And  wouldn’t that be a good thing to have happen?

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Winners, Cheating and Business Ethics

Sometimes television provides inspiration and validation of one’s personal thoughts.  This past week I was channel surfing and popped onto Glenn Beck who was interviewing a Mr. Jon Huntsman, Sr.. Since I had never heard of this individual and he seemed to quietly radiate peace and abundance, I was curious as to who he was.

Mr. Huntsman is a self-made billionaire, but more importantly an individual who leaves an ethical life by willingly sharing his wealth even when he did not have it with others.  He also wrote a book entitled Winners Never Cheat. I downloaded it yesterday as an e-book and look forward to reading it today upon my return from church.

What is interesting is Mr. Hunstman defies the description by many who envy the results of others. He has fully integrated his personal ethics (positive core values) into his business ethics and has achieved incredible results. His achievements have not come easily including having a son kidnapped and ransomed for a million dollars.

In a society and culture where winning is viewed as something negative because winners must cheat to get ahead, Mr. Hunstman’s story is just the opposite. Business ethics are alive and can be successfully implemented. In fact, Mr. Huntsman continues to support business ethics in college through his financial contributions to the Wharton School of Business.

Life is indeed not fair because each human being is born differently through the genetics of their family tree.  We can all be winners by infusing our personal  core values into our business ethics and then demonstrating those business ethics every day for there are indeed great examples around us.

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