The increasing reports of unethical practices and scant recognition of the moral obligation to the client and consumer by companies, corporations and individuals at the local and global level begs the question- is damage to the reputation of the corporation enough to discourage executives from their bottom line and shareholder focus, and steer them to doing what is right, moral and ethical?
Are the governance and risk management systems in companies and corporations adequate to prevent fraud, unethical conduct, immoral behaviours, disregard of consumer rights, or do they encourage a winner takes all attitude and a singular focus on return to shareholders with minimal collateral damage?
What is the deterrent to such unacceptable behaviour?
In a world where return on investment, increased profit margins, attaining ever stringent and upward driven KPI’s, and the need to be supreme leaders in the business, executives and leaders are at times in the very uncomfortable position of examining their consciences and making tough decisions on doing what is right for the company versus what is right for the common good of society at large.
Working on the development of an executive leadership program within a global faith based community organisation has led me to consider the merits of elements of spiritual leadership and the impact it could have on the development of leaders in the corporate world.
The growth of leadership models and concepts including ethical leadership, authentic leadership, conscious leadership, follow-ship, etc. all point to the increasing search for leadership with a conscience.
Spiritual leadership starts from the concept of doing what is right, having moral and ethical values, having a strong conscience and believing in the universality of what is good and inherently right for people and society.
Whilst spiritual leadership looks at an almighty being for guidance, corporate leadership should strive to think of what the universe laws of conducting ethical and moral business for the benefit of society are, and how they will conduct their businesses with this at the forefront of decision making.
Just as spiritual leadership is looking at corporate leadership for sharpening their business skills, corporate leadership has a lot to learn from spiritual leadership as that may be the only deterrent to corporate greed and unethical practices.