Let's face it, many of us like lists. They can help us get organized and stay focused. I find that there is also a downside. Lists can also enable us to "feel good" that we've got it, been there and done that. Whoa nellie, not so fast.
Here is a good example. Frank Bucaro wrote a nice piece in Linked2Leadership entitled "Leadership and Ethics, the Eight Great Habits" (Linked2Leadership 8/16/11)
Taken as a set of self-reflective pointers, I found it stimulating. Take this one: "How am I a better person because I am part of this organization?".
No, I'm not talking about spieling off a trite or politically correct response as to a situational interview question. Really, am I? The answer some days might be "no" and a trend of same speaks to time for change in capital letters.
Taken as a checklist, I find the list quickly loses it's value for me and descends into triviality. I don't spend much time daily reviewing lists such as this one. What I do is look for challenge points that catch me.
When one does, I nab it and work it until I find my own journey as a leader has progressed over, under, through and beyond the hurdle. Then I look for the next one. If nothing catches you in this list, toss it. If it does, that might be your next diamond in the rough.
Here is the list:
Start building ethical habits by using these 8 reflection points each day:
1. Find every opportunity to practice the virtues of integrity, trustworthiness, honesty and compassion.
2. Ask yourself this: "How is my organization better today because I am in it?" And "In what ways?"
3. Weigh out your actions in order to cause more good than harm. (Consider the short-term vs. long-term consequences of your actions.)
4. Ask yourself this: "How am I a better person because I am part of this organization?"
5. Remember to treat each person with the dignity and respect that every human being deserves.
6. Be aware of whom you benefit, whom you burden , and how that decision is made.
7. Find and name strengths of the organization that can help you become more human.
8. Practice getting beyond your own interests to make the organization stronger.