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Mark Cole: What Every Leader Needs to Know

By Mark Cole | October 27, 2018
Mark Cole: What Every Leader Needs to Know

The foundation for every leader is his or her ethical standards.

That’s why one of the most helpful books I know of for any leader is Ethics 101: What Every Leader Needs To Know. I have recommended it countless times because it’s imperative for leaders to know and understand ethical standards.

In the book, John Maxwell proposes that success and ethical living can be accomplished through a powerful tool. Maybe you’ve heard of it… the Golden Rule!

Do to others as you would wish be done to you.

I know it probably sounds too simple, but it is a leadership game-changer.

Here are 5 reasons why you should adopt the Golden Rule.

  1. The Golden Rule is transcultural. It involves, encompasses and combines elements of many cultures.
  2. The Golden Rule is multi-situational. It works whether you’re managing a paper route or a Fortune 500 company.
  3. The Golden Rule is simple. It is ethics distilled to the point where almost every individual can understand it.
  4. The Golden Rule is a winning philosophy. A win for others results in a win for you when practice the Golden Rule.
  5. The Golden Rule is a compass. It gives you direction and provides guardrails for your life. John says, “I might dent my car but the Golden Rule can help keep me from going over the cliff.”

Ethical character will help leaders remain successful throughout their lifetime. Many CEOs and other leaders in powerful positions get seduced by attaining their power. As a result, focusing on the Golden Rule can be the most beneficial ethical guideline for any leader.

Think about it… How do you like to be treated?

  1. You want to be valued. 70% of those who leave their jobs do so because they don’t feel valued.
    • Application: Ask yourself a couple questions = Do you value people? Do you value people you don’t like?
  2. You want to be appreciated. Everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated for their potential and performance.
    • Application: How do you provide recognition to those who are deserving of it?
  3. You want to be trusted. Vulnerability builds trust!
    • Application: In what way can you be vulnerable in your home and your work place to build trust with team members?
  4. You want to be heard. David Agusburger said, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.”
    • Application: In what ways are you providing team members with opportunities to feel they are being heard?
  5. You don’t want to be taken advantage of. No one wants to feel taken advantage of. It triggers something primal in all of us.
    • Application: Recall a time when you felt this way, this will help you to be empathetic with your team members.

Ted Koppel summarized it well, “There’s harmony and inner peace to be found in following a moral compass that points in the same direction regardless of fashion or trend.”

Can success and ethical living be lived out together in today’s world? Absolutely. In fact, you will find the most success when you lead this way.

If you want to maximize the long-term success of your organization, apply the Golden Rule to your leadership.

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