Presentation on theme: "Malta Association of Work & Organizational Psychology Debate over coffee series (or something stronger!) Is there a role for moral leadership in today’s."— Presentation transcript:
Malta Association of Work & Organizational Psychology Debate over coffee series (or something stronger!) Is there a role for moral leadership in today’s world? Christopher Bezzina STC Training Block A Alamein Road, Pembroke Thursday 20 th September 2012
Opening Premise Nelson Mandela and ethical leadership Long Walk to Freedom The outstanding lesson of his story concerns the need to orientate leadership towards enabling “people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect”. This ethical and political focus informs Mandela’s personal and public values, and makes his leadership effective and motivating. His leadership is respectful: in many ways he is a leader who follows, leading from behind and encouraging consensual strategies.
Nelson Mandela and ethical leadership Long Walk to Freedom Mandela stresses his role as one among many. He rejects any desire for personal gain. His leadership reconciled oppressor and oppressed. His leadership was inclusive. His focus was on serving a ‘just cause’. Can such a humanist vision be cultivated in students and corporate leaders? How can we generate leadership in schools, companies and beyond that sees people as more than just ‘workers’ or ‘consumers’?
Passion Active conversations respect integrity authenticity enthusiasm Networking Common purpose New directions
“Organisations are not solely concerned with outcomes, processes and resources. They are also concerned with the human spirit and their values and relationships. Authentic leaders breathe the life force into the workplace and keep the people feeling energized and focused … They build people and their self esteem. They derive their credibility from personal integrity and their values.” Bhindi & Duignan, 1996: 29
The context we are working in “Society is relations – society exists whenever and wherever individuals enter into reciprocal action. These reciprocal acts are derived from determined impulses or intentions, goals.” Georg Simmel Yet … In my opinion social life, relationships are often imposed not desired, organised not sought. And, the time and effort we put into relationship building to take our institutions forward is also being minimised. If this is so, what does it tell us about some of the language and policies we are being exposed to today? What are the practices you are nurturing?
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? With passion and enthusiasm We can do this by being with people and for them. We need to take the time to invest in those we work with. How do we do this? Think of your own work … your own contribution … How do others relate to you? Whom do you inspire? Who inspires you? …
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By being genuine … authentic … 1 It is far from easy to be genuine and faithful to one’s values in a world that tries to squeeze us all into its mould. We are often challenged to lead superficial lives, to act impassionately and to remain emotionally detached from people. We are expected to obey, not to express opinions that defy authority. Do you agree? What are your personal experiences?
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By being genuine … authentic … 2 A life of integrity stands out in a context which thrives on hypocrisy. An ethical leader demonstrates integrity and character by his/her words and actions. Give examples as how you do your best to walk the talk.
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By treating everyone with respect We can impact other people’s feelings through the way we express respect to them and the way we treat them. How do you respond to people’s needs and requests? Do you reflect on your work practices?
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By being humble and willing to serve Today many models of leadership consider it strange for the person at the top to show humility. Bending the knee to help others, to admit weakness, to admit making a mistake, to even just express yourself is considered making yourself vulnerable to those who might take advantage of you. What are we doing to build character and instil virtues? Can we give examples that show what we are doing to form character, shape attitudes, produce thoughtful, virtuous people? Do our institutions feel a responsibility to improve society? What is the moral compass that guides their actions?
“When moral authority drives leadership practice, the principal is at the same time a leader of leaders, follower of ideas, minister of values, and servant to the followership” Thomas Sergiovanni One’s success is determined by the quality of the followership that emerges. Is this what attracts us to people? Do we have examples of such leadership?
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By showing gratitude Showing gratitude does not cost anything but replenishes our life and our collective desire for doing things. How far does gratitude permeate the climate within the organization we form part of? How is this manifested?
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By creating teamwork and capacity building Whilst the ‘I’ is important, it is the ‘we’ that matters. The ability to lead is dependent on others and the relationships or networks leaders cultivate. Is it a question of different approaches, a focus on certain beliefs, backing purpose with principles? What, in your opinion, are the factors that matter? What ‘growth options’ exist/ can we create for others to develop their skills, aptitudes, etc.?
The ‘ingredients’ that matter how do we look at work? By focusing on learning Learning is more an attitude, a disposition towards self and others. It is not merely the process of attending a course, a seminar, but the reason behind the engagement that is critical for learning, unlearning and relearning to take place. Do we step out of our comfort zones? Do we surround ourselves with people that challenge us with their own ideas? Do we seek out what people have to say rather than listen to what we want to hear? Why do people go for training; attend a course? Are the reasons intrinsic? Can they always be? How do such programmes influence our growth?
Concluding remarks I have focused on: character formation connections – within self and with others “Good character is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece – by thought, choice, courage and determination.” John Maxwell