Wednesday, 23 August 2017
I recognize that there are many ways to interpret this question.
You may ask if one is personally safe from physical or emotional harassment.
Is one safe from all of the multiple forms of discrimination?
Perhaps it centers on the question job security; is your company and/or your role in it going to be viable in a year or a decade from now?
Is it safe for you to express opinions and suggestions without fear of retribution?
All of these are reasonable questions to ask of any employment situation, regardless of the position you hold.
How does one come to that sense of peace that calms these fears and which then allows you to maximize your personal potential and job satisfaction?
I submit that it is your role as a leader to ensure the ‘safety’ of your team members and, by extension, other members of your company. You do this not by your competencies but by the compass of your character, and specifically by your moral and ethical conduct.
It is this compass that provides alignment throughout a team or across a company. This compass dictates the values and principles by which business will be conducted. It confirms what is and is not acceptable. It establishes the guidelines and boundaries; it sets the examples of conduct; it says by word and by deed ‘…I care and I WILL defend and protect you…’
Ethics and morals are not situational; they are not elastic; they are not conditional. Every leader must be clear and consistent in their definition and application of the code of conduct that applies to all.
The absence of clarity and consistency is chaos. When anyone is able to assert a personal standard or definition, then the ugliness of chaos is given license.
However, when clarity is confirmed by conduct and consistency, every employee can have a legitimate expectation for their workplace. This is true for a department, for a company or even for a nation. All people need to know and believe in the high principles established by leadership.
It is then and only then, that they can feel SAFE!
Set a standard; publish that standard; live that standard. Lead with clarity and consistency of purpose…for this is your most important duty.