No leader should give orders they are not willing to accept and execute themselves.
Leadership comes with responsibility, and should come with accountability. As Peter Drucker once said “Every leadership decision should be made after asking yourself if you would be willing to do what you are about to decide, are you willing to accept that decision and execute it to the best of your capabilities?”, or as stated by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf “When you don’t question your own orders you should not be in a position where you are authorized to give orders!”.
In the leadership circles where shareholder value is the highest priority, these considerations appear mostly absent. In politics this is seen in the “whatever brings votes” campaigns. In business this is omnipresent in generating unethical revenues and profits. But there is a new wave of leadership emerging. Serving leadership in combination with stakeholder value. This is the right thing to do versus this makes us the most profit. CEO’s who cancel their own bonus programs during financial challenges are no longer an exception. Politicians who stand up for ethics and humanitarian goals instead of populism are becoming more vocal and start to get more support.
We need leadership based on high standards. Ethical standards. Moral standards. Where troops eat first, and stakeholders are not excluded. No leader should give orders they are not willing to accept and execute themselves.
Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag – CEO Spearhead Management