I have been wondering lately why so many leaders in many fields have their decisions go so wrong; leaders in politics, religion, business and sports, for starters.
I came across these three words somewhere, and they have stuck with me as a helpful starting point.
Let’s unpack them – in today’s ‘speak’ and in the context of this short Blog.
Commitment is the desire to do the right thing, regardless of the cost. I can recall two contrasting examples in my own life. The first was when I had screwed up at work and needed to apologize in a staff meeting. I was too embarrassed. Much to my permanent shame, I called in sick that day, and the matter was forgotten and never mentioned by others, at least to me. I never forgot, and it still gets said in my head occasionally decades later.
Second was a time a staff courageously brought to my attention a pattern of my behaviour that was unacceptable to both of us. I promised to do my very best not to repeat the behaviour.
Real commitment isn’t easy.
Consciousness is having the awareness to act consistently and apply moral convictions to daily behaviour. I think I have the consistency down pat reasonably well. Folks frequently say, ‘ That’s so you, Glenn.’
Applying moral convictions is much more complicated. They can be slippery at times. I can start with an innocuous step, but it leaves me far from where I want to be when added together with subsequent and similar actions. In my current environment, I struggle with the morality of the rights of the individual vs. the rights of the group; examples include health, access to services and, in general, the right to pursue happiness.
Competency is the ability to collect and evaluate information and foresee potential consequences and risks. One person’s competency is another’s out-of-the-box thinking, or thinking from the middle ages – or worse, the age of the dinosaurs. I try to look and find people who are competent in a particular field of study and seek their opinion. Eventually, the final decision is mine. The end of many Acknowledgments as part of the Forward section in a book ends with the author saying, “Any errors or omissions in this book are entirely mine.”
I had a situation with the family member of a client dying from cirrhosis of the liver after a lifetime of heavy drinking. He lacked mobility and couldn’t get out of the house on his own. He did want the opportunity to have a drink. Not too much, but just enough to take the edge off his predicament. I didn’t know what to suggest to the family, so I consulted with the Ethics Committee at a local hospital. They told me that …
I will leave the committee’s response unwritten as it highlights how obviously black and white, yet how very grey life can be.
These three words, commitment, consistency and competency, are my starting point when I ask myself, how did an organization get to that point that it made the 6 o’clock news?
Please give this a bit of a think. Do you have any situations that could help to explain your behaviour or the behaviour of others? Will these three words help you in the future?
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.
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And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.