Leadership on Ethics in Insurance
Everyone knows that leadership on ethics is important, yet knowing how to practice it is even more important. That it is often referred to as ‘walking the talk’ illustrates how a commitment counts for little without the practice. There are five components to putting leadership on ethics into practice…
- Knowing how to speak the language of ethics
- Setting a clear ethical vision
- Helping your team make decisions in line with that ethical vision
- Supporting people when they face hurdles
- Setting your own personal example
Why do I talk about leadership on ethics, and not the more common ethical leadership? The difference is more significant than you think. What leadership on ethics focusses on is delivering leadership in your firm on ethical issues. In contrast, ethical leadership is focussed on the individual and how they themselves behave.
Sure, I want a leader to be ethical – in other words, to show ethical leadership. But what I need on top of that is for that leader to give leadership to ethics. Just as I expect that person to give leadership on strategy and on delivery. In other words, I want them to see ethics as a business issue that requires attention, status and drive.
You can think of leadership on ethics as like a sporting coach. That coach achieves the results they want through the leadership, attention and drive they give to their team. If the coach was just a good, say footballer, and not much else, their team wouldn’t achieve much. The leader on ethics achieves the outcomes from their ethical vision through how they lead their firm and its people on ethics.
Challenging the 'Setting a Personal Example' Approach
Leadership on ethics is often thought of in terms of 'setting a personal example'. And yes, it can help, but it is actually only one component of leadership on ethics. I explain why in this article...
...and show how to set a better one in this article... 9 Ways to Set a Better Personal Example
Facing Up to Problems
Leadership on ethics can be pretty challenging at times. Recognising how this can happen means you're going to be better prepared for when you encounter it yourself. These two articles will help...