The CEO of Carbonite David Friend, told investors that his decision to pull ads from the Rush Limbaugh show, hurt sales. …..and then he said “I’m not regretful of the decision, I think things would have been worse had we not done that.”
This is a brave man. In this day and age admitting that you made a decision that led to lost revenue can be the kiss,of death. Many Managers would make something up. Instead he publicly is standing up for values. How refreshing.
How do we develop a sense of values that we are willing to stand up for? If you ask any man or woman if they are governed by a set of values most will say yes, (they may not be able to name them); if none other than The Golden Rule.
And yet some, like Friend, when faced with what will likely be a difficult conversation stands by his values. I think most of us agree that we wish more leaders would do this. If they did perhaps we could avoid the seemingly endless plague of scandals. yet step yourself back just a bit.
If you were an investor in Carbonite, and you were told you lost potential earnings because the CEO stood up for his values, how will you respond. My sense is that many of us while giving lip service to the need for moral values will be challenged in similar circumstances. The cartoon strip Pogo said it very well back in the sixties when one of the characters said, “we have met the enemy and it is us”.
This is not to say we should give up on Values, rather it is to remind ourselves that they are difficult to maintain. To do so let me offer some suggestions.
1. Develop a set of values that are your guiding light. There is a good exercise in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
2. Post the values where you can see them and remind your self of themon. A regular basis.
3. If you are the leader of an organization and your staff displays a
good example of adhering to your values celebrate that. (others will want that recognition)
4. I like this exercise from Brendon Bruchard. If This then That. Essentially in your mind you role play a scenario, where if “this” happens you will respond with “that”.