Leadership Promises Broken, A Lack of Integrity
Leadership promises should be made sparingly because leaders as a whole are highly distrusted today. Promises without follow-up, follow-through or action is lying – dishonest. If you have integrity it means the promises you make, you keep. This builds trust and employee engagement.
Even little things matter. If you say to any employee, “I will get back to you.” Then, you don’t, your credibility suffers. If fifteen times you do what you say you will do, you have earned the benefit of the doubt if you make a mistake by not keeping a commitment. What I am talking about is a pattern of behavior. Yet, some things aren’t so little and the consequences quickly bring pain, hurt feelings and distrust.
Leadership Promises a Bonus: Bonuses are NOT Paid
My friend is a Sales Director for a company. Sales were up above goal and he exceeded the objectives for adding large new accounts. The company paid bonuses to managers after the year end. He hit the top bonus levels. Bonuses were based on departmental goals. The company wasn’t doing as well, and it came in well below expectations. A new CFO was on the job, and he pulled ALL management bonus payouts because of the company results. Of course my friend and others were greatly disappointed and upset. They lost significant money. In the end, there was nothing they could do. The company claimed they had a clause (in the fine print of the employee handbook) for their protection. Do you agree with this?
Leadership Promises: We will continue to operate as normal, really?
A large manufacturer bought a smaller one. The new leadership told employees their jobs were safe, and that the current management team would stay on. After a year, things began to change. The large company brought in new people. The top management began to leave one by one. Eventually people were asked to move to a another city (where the corporate headquarters was of the larger company). If the employee didn’t want to move they were offered a severance. Changes soon began to flood the smaller company as it was absorbed by the larger one. Employees were crushed, and many laid off which of course negatively affected their livelihood and families. Sound familiar?
I don’t know about you, this isn’t the first time I have seen things like this happen. It’s a total lack of integrity. Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. Leadership practices like the above demolish trust in corporate America and the individual leaders. Then, companies wonder why employee engagement and loyalty is low. The best leaders lead with integrity, and focus on helping their team succeed. Remember this and you will become an exemplary manager.
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