A socially responsible person should not only be concerned about what he /she does, but how he / she does it. If you are a lead person you have the opportunity, and ultimately the responsibility, to add value to your community and greater society by holding yourself and others accountable for how your endeavors affect the people, places, and a small world around you. All the while one has to understand that although it is voluntary or social service one is undertaking, it will quickly become the expectation of the people surrounding you.
One may have the best of intentions yet, if one doesn’t act and act decisively, he / she is not living up to the expectations for the cause.
In many ways this requires one to consider how one’s personal ethics cross with your responsibilities as a leader. Consider these five principles – taught to us by our own forefathers – as you reflect on your own leadership ethics:
- Ethically one should not transmit intentionally falsified or harmful messages.
- Ethically one should place concern for others above concern for personal gain. (Does it sound like “Service above self?”)
- One can either respect the opinions and attitudes of others or disagree; but the motive and motivation needs to be positive and collective. We can always respond and eliminate any bias if found.
One requires strength—strength of will, strength of convictions and, most importantly, strength of character. And your character is who you are and how you act even when no one is watching.
Genuinely caring about the needs and wants of colleagues and community members.
Holding organizations and people accountable for irresponsible and unethical behaviors toward others.
Carve out your character carefully. Because this is what is likely to make you or mar you.
Contributing positively to your community— how can you do that?
I think one can always hold an overall perspective, create a positive aura at the workplace and while doing these one should focus on sustainability.
Together let’s live the spirit of charity; the spirit of Rotary…
Madhu K. Nair [june 2011]