In any conversation about the importance of organizational and leadership values consistency of ethics would certainly need to be addressed.

First, let’s attack the consistency portion of this thought.

Consistency of ethics must be practiced by the leadership of any organization (family, church, fortune 500 business). Consistency is the harmonious, steady, reliable and stable actions demonstrating appropriate integrity of moral beliefs throughout all situations by leaders of any organization. Leaders must first practice this consistency before it will trickle down and practiced by all of the organization’s members.

While ethics is described as the display of morals, beliefs, and integrity of a person or organization, every person sets his/her own personal code of ethics. In today’s society, this is overwhelmingly rampant to an unhealthy extreme (in my opinion). While the dictionary’s definition of ethics is the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior, a relatively general set of ethics has historically governed human life and culture. Today, ethics seems to be whatever any individual sets as his or her own.

One feature of ethics is not eroding another person’s self-esteem. Many in leadership have forgotten or lost this trait of ethics. Beating down another person in any fashion is a breach of ethics. We hear a lot today about bullying. Bullying is a breach of ethics. This type of breach of ethics plays out in society in every type of organization imaginable. As leaders, we must learn the difference between reprimanding for building a person up or tearing down. Redirection and reprimanding can both be undertaken while assisting the individual in moving to a higher standard. Anything less is akin to bullying.

Every consumer-driven business and organization believes their customers and employees are important – or at least this is their stated belief. Yet, the way the customer and employees are treated is the tell-tale of the true belief of the leader or organization. When customers (employees, volunteers) do not believe they are being heard or treated with respect, morale plummets and they will leave your organization. Customers shop elsewhere. Employees will look for other employment opportunities, and volunteers leave your organization to find one which they believe will appreciate their service and contribution.

In your area of leadership, what will you undertake this week to improve your consistency of ethics to encourage and enable others to better themselves and produce effective results for your/their organization?

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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