Wednesday, October 9, 2013

*Leaders would Rather Fail with Honor

My recent round table encounter with a couple of line managers and a CEO of a company has prompted me to write this article. In response to one of the straight forward manager’s reports, the CEO suddenly blurted, “I know you’ve tried your best, but your best isn’t good enough as it didn’t yield any fruit.” (From his careful wording and vivid body language, I felt that the CEO was mocking at the manager’s integrity as he was unable to generate the expected financial returns, perhaps even at the cost of deception, rather than reporting to him such a “ludicrous” monetary benefits). Our experience with the real world reveals that leaders undergo stormy periods, as well as several zenith epochs. Both of these times are considered momentous chapters from which all ought to learn a great deal. I believe successful leaders are measured not merely on their discernible efficacious outcomes; rather, the litmus test for them is how they manage and react to the inescapable failure. While this is believed to be the morally right (honorable) leadership principle, I really don’t know why some have nowadays overlooked high standard morals, such as truthfulness and honor. At such a time where the ostentatious (mere financial gains) is customarily valued, leaders find it hard-hitting to accept failure with integrity. I know that leaders are there to create, among other things, economic value. Nevertheless, pragmatic experience tells us that sticking to the right path alone does not always guarantee them to reap monetary achievements ☺! At the end of the day, I think, we need to be able to appreciate more the priceless value tagged in a leader, such as uprightness, humility and honor, instead of just the commercial benefits he/she has generated, or not generated. Although failing to achieve what a leader intends from the outset could have disastrous repercussions, I think there are a lot of other things to gain in due process if one discerns with caution. For instance, one could learn the root causes for the past failure that serve as foundations for future gains. I am surprised why the worth of a leader is neglected when he/she fails with dignity. I believe Sophocles, the ancient Greek literary figure, was wise when he said, “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud”. Leaders can teach a lasting virtue by failing with honor rather than bidding to shine with scam.

No comments: