Do the Right Thing

Compass Pointing the Way to Integrity in Business Key success behavior #5:  “Do the right thing”, really wraps a pretty bow around all of the previous blogs on this topic this past week, and a great many more critical leadership behaviors that I haven’t mentioned at all.  Although incomplete, all together I think the five are an impressive list:

Keep Your Promises

Don’t Lie

Don’t Blame Others

Don’t Play the Victim

Do the Right Thing

This standard can be quite a challenge to live up to – daunting even.  Temptation beckons.  Stress and overwork warp our judgment.  The lapses of integrity of other people, commonplace in some work environments, provide a handy excuse for our own.  (At least we can comfort ourselves with the thought that our behavior isn’t as bad as theirs.)  And there are rewards for deviating from these behaviors.  But those who adopt such behaviors must either maintain a fog that masks self-awareness of their behaviors and their impact on others, or a steady stream of self-delusion to constantly justify them.

However prevalent examples of people violating these principles may be, as a project leader you simply cannot afford to indulge in them.  Your power as a leader is at stake.  And stumbling now and then is no excuse for giving up on these principles entirely.  As Winston Churchill said “Success is not final, and failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.”

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3 thoughts on “Do the Right Thing”

  1. Terrific series, Kimberly. Thank you!

    I’d like to mention a few more of my perennial favorites for ‘good living’ as a project manager/leader:

    1. Admit when you are wrong, publicly and honestly.
    2. Never try to fake knowing something you don’t know.
    3. Praise in public, criticize in private.
    4. Give credit where credit is due.

  2. Beautiful, Loyal! If we’re going to be successful as project leaders we need to be the kind of leader people want to follow. I think about what kind of person I’d like to follow, and then I strive towards that, failing forward!

  3. Hi Kim,
    Great post. I really love the way you capture in very few words, the heart of good leadership as well as good project management.

    Do the right thing, for me, should be at the front of the line. It’s the foundation of ethical leadership. You point out so many ways that we can stray from this, and how it can be difficult at times to keep to the narrow path. For me, that points to another of my personal 3 pillars of quality leadership – courage! Being a courageous leader means sticking to your guns when not doing so would be so much easier. By sticking to your guns you help do your part to change a culture toward a more ethical one. Imagine if you worked in a place where everyone acted in an ethical fashion all the time! Having the courage to do your part to model that will help that become a reality.

    David Skyberg,
    Providing courageous, ethical, and transparent leadership to the software industry.

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