A Review of the Classic Book “High Performance Ethics” by Linda Hatcher
“Are ethics something we can just make up? And if so, who gets to decide what they are? Whatever definition we choose…we seem to be left with a chintzy version of ethics, a meager echo of past philosophies.” This quote captures the direct, clear approach of High Performance Ethics by Wes Cantrell and James R. Lucas. They then go on to prove via specific, practical actions in 10 timeless principles “the durability and triumph of solid ethics.”
The first article in the December issue of the FREE Leadership Guide Magazine is titled “High Performance Ethics: A Review of an Ethical Leadership Classic” (CLICK HERE). “In the world of business, character is what makes you - what makes you smart or dull, good or bad, strong or weak, and delightful or obnoxious to others … it is the most important feature of every person, but very few leaders put forth genuine effort to look for it,” say Cantrell and Lucas. Their book is a compendium of honest, “real-world” case studies and practical, achievable steps to being an ethical person and leading others.
In our second article titled “Protect the Souls,” (CLICK HERE) we focus on an intriguing chapter of the same name. In the chapter, the authors pin down the factors that create ineffective ethical leadership, so we can learn the opposite. “As high performance leaders,” they conclude, “we have to understand that we are dealing with valuable souls and that we will find the greatest success by raising people from their knees—and placing them on our shoulders.”
We hope these informative articles help you to be a more effective, ethical leader. In addition have a joyous holiday season.
INSPIRING LEADERSHIP QUOTES from High Performance Ethics:
“We must select leaders, mentors, partners, and employees who have proven character and competence… if you are hiring a pilot; you first need to know whether he can fly the plane. Character is a wonderful and needed attribute, but if he does not know how to pilot the plane, there is no need to interview him.”
“Terms like ‘chain of command’ and ‘direct reports’ are the language of control and subservience. As I’ve told thousands of leaders, if the first thought that enters your mind every morning is ‘I need to manage X,’ the second thought should be ‘I need to fire X.’”
“The only way to know the truth is to ask hard questions—in surveys, interviews, focus groups, other forums. These diagnostics provide the only way to know whether the mission and strategy are working to achieve the vision.”
“Preserving values over time often requires a little thing called courage. It would be nice if no one had to stand up for the truth, and everyone always did the right thing. That would be a great world. But it is clearly not the world in which we are living. We could say a lot about ethical courage, but here is the bottom line: It is less about being brave than it is about making an unshakable commitment to truth….it is never the wrong time to do the right thing.”
“Mentors start where all good things start: with values. They know that character is destiny, and they want us to know it too. A wise mentor—or even a formal leader with a sharp eye—can be a tremendous asset to someone who is ready to grow.”
“Ethical ambition watches out for the interests of others, rather than just its own interests.”
“Good ambition combines a desire to move up with a commitment to adding value for everyone involved. Good ambition is marked by self-discipline rather than others-domination.”
“In the final analysis, the goal of any business relationship should be to create higher performance than either party can create alone. This goal should determine the structure of the relationship. ‘Real listening means I allow you to change me,’” notes Alan Alda in his recent biography Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I have Learned.”