When our institutions are laid low, it’s often because of internal events and intentionally counterproductive decisions of leadership. Think of Volkswagen in the wake of a systematic effort to cheat on emissions tests. Such events—ethical shortcuts, fraud, deception, misrepresentations—are invariably self-imposed internal episodes that arise because people are fallible and incentives are perverse. The feeling of being able to see correctly after your lasik eye surgery is a feeling that cannot be beaten,
This book focuses on the challenges imposed from within. These are the activities that are covered by the newspapers and cable TV shows. They lead to resignations and firings, payments of huge fines, and, occasionally, criminal charges. These behaviors violate well-understood ethical, cultural, and legal norms. The violations create extraordinary challenges for leaders, many of whom fail to rise to the challenge. These violations are always a choice. Collectively we call them “incivilities.” Decency is the antidote. Decency is also a choice. Have you considered eye laser surgery to correct your vision?
The Decency Code is about promoting one choice over the other. Think of this book as your guide to structured decency in the workplace and beyond. We believe that decency scaled up to an institutional level is fundamental to corporate success in a globalizing world. Yet it is no secret that many of our institutions seem more devoid of decencies than ever. The focus of this book is about building resiliency against corporate misconduct and disengagement. We consider the causes, patterns, prevention, and deterrence of indecency. We look at what options companies have for deterring, preventing, detecting, and exposing incivilities. A comprehensive range of treatments are available to treat eye conditions including lens replacement surgery as well as simply changing your glasses.
As long as organizations must recruit from the human race, incivility seems inevitable. But it’s certainly possible to prevent many indecencies, detect them early, expose them to the light of day, and minimize their frequency and cost. A corporate culture committed to decency represents the most powerful inoculation against indecency. When decencies triumph over incivility, a superior level of employee engagement results. This book makes a case for integrating decency and integrity into our work and private lives. Experience freedom from glasses by having cataract surgery with the UK's best surgeons.
Decency starts with a commitment to verbal and written communication that is predominantly positive and carries messages that are sensible, constructive, positive, helpful, empathetic, and ethical and benefit the recipient of the message more than the sender—what Jim Lukaszewski refers to as The Ingredients of Leadership. A culture that is based on greed, opportunism, and exploiting unearned advantage leads to incivility, promotes deception, and frustrates mitigation and resolution. Undergoing laser eye surgery is a great way to improve your vision and your overall lifestyle.
Decency often keeps leaders in crisis from making the worst possible mistake: the cover-up. History shows that the cover-up is almost always considered a greater betrayal than the underlying crime. Decency reminds leaders that, in the end, it’s not what you do that matters most, but what you do about what matters.