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How ethical leaders scale respect across their organization  

Ethical leaders can create good culture by defining, aligning and refining their practices and policies, says S. Chris Edmonds.

3 min read


Video transcript:

The importance of an uncompromising work culture is often overlooked by business leaders, but it has a huge impact on an organization’s success. A purposeful, positive, productive work culture not only boosts employee engagement but also leads to improved customer service, increased results and higher profits.

Senior leaders salivate at the thought of 30% gains in service, performance and profits over the coming year. And most leaders realize that those tangible benefits don’t happen overnight. They only occur when employees are treated respectfully by their leaders and colleagues every day — and where employees are validated for their aligned ideas, efforts and contributions every day.

The reality is that far too many leaders in far too many organizations rely on autocratic, old-school leadership practices that demean, dismiss and discount employees. Senior leaders may work hard to treat staff respectfully — but they know that leaders throughout the company do not treat others with respect.

A big challenge is that very few senior leaders have ever experienced a successful culture change — much less led one. They need a proven approach plus guidance from experts who specialize in helping leaders build and sustain uncompromising work cultures.

The best processes create lasting change. They help business leaders leverage their culture strengths while quashing their culture weaknesses. That helps scale respectful leadership across the company.

A solid approach helps leaders define their desired work culture by formalizing an organizational constitution with four elements: servant purpose, values and behaviors,  strategies and goals. The second phase guides all formal leaders in their company to align all plans, decisions, actions and players to their ideal culture through modeling, coaching, measuring, celebrating and mentoring. Finally, the approach helps leaders refine practices and players to ensure everyone models the organization’s formalized valued behaviors in daily interactions.

How will leaders know if ethical practices are being embraced? By measuring the quality of your work culture through twice-a-year employee surveys, where direct reports rate their bosses on the degree to which those bosses model the company’s desired valued behaviors. Surveys provide undeniable, actionable data so senior leaders can celebrate aligned behaviors and re-direct misaligned behaviors across their organization.

(NOTE: SmartBrief made minor edits to the transcript.)

S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker and author as well as executive consultant, founder and CEO with The Purposeful Culture Group. He has authored or co-authored seven books, including two Amazon bestsellers: “The Culture Engine” (2014) and “Good Comes First” (2021) with Mark Babbitt. Edmonds’ videos, posts and podcasts are available at Driving Results Through Culture. Follow Edmonds on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Apple Podcasts.

Opinions expressed by SmartBrief contributors are their own. 


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