Word broke recently of what may be one of the most shameful corporate cover-ups in the history of American business. Reuters reported that pharmaceutical and consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson had known, as early as 1971, about the presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in its iconic baby powder product. This disclosure quickly prompted comparisons with similar, devastating, revelations in various consumer-products liability cases, such as those filed against the major tobacco companies. According
The Accountability Blog
For a leader, there is no such thing as “kind of” telling the truth. If you are a leader, you are either fulfilling your personal commitment to tell someone who is counting on you the truth, or you aren’t fulfilling that commitment. If you aren’t, then accountability within the relationship and the organization you lead is impossible, because you’ve already failed to be accountable to your team coming out of the gate. That’s the high
A leadership lesson from a two-year old. A while back, we had a birthday party for my two-year-old granddaughter Sophy. As it unfolded, I was privileged to observe a powerful object lesson for leaders. As the birthday girl, Sophy was sitting at the head of the table. She happened to notice that she had one of her grandmothers sitting immediately to her right. When Sophy noticed that, she smiled and reached out to hold her
“I AM A MANAGER WHO HOLDS PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE” Are you? Do you really want to be? There are two major problems with the sentence that forms the title of this article. Can you spot them both? Look at it in two halves. Here’s the first half: “I am a manager …” Are you really a manager? Are you sure? We manage resources. We manage things: computers, real estate, product inventory. Contrary to popular belief, we
A leader with a commitment to a value like “We stand by our passengers and employees when all hell breaks loose,” or with a commitment to securing the airline’s good reputation, would have jumped all over this event, right away. That leader would have made certain that the whole world knew that both the leader and the airline considered such abuse intolerable, would have rejected racism and discrimination in all its forms, and would have announced that a full internal review of the incident was underway.
So: What this woman is doing is courageous. It is true leadership. And yes, it is accountable leadership. I share Murad’s story with you today not just because it is inspiring on a human level – although it certainly is that – but because I want you to notice that two of the specific commitments Murad has championed, since her escape from hell on earth in 2014, are absolutely critical for accountable leadership in any realm. Those two commitments are: “I tell the truth” and to “It’s all of us.”
On the other hand … when there is a personal commitment to an “it’s all of us” relationship … when the leader does model that value, is personally committed to it, and makes sure it is a personal accountability to every person on the team… an amazing thing happens. Everyone on the team buys into “It’s all of us,” regardless of the role that individual plays … and every member of the team becomes accountable to every other member.
The big takeaways here for leaders are: make good on your commitments to your customers and your employees; take appropriate action even when people you don’t employ make mistakes; and focus on always making decisions around what you say you believe and value.