Chapter SixAspects of leadership: ethics, tone at the top and handling a crisis




As is becoming my habit, I arrive early for this the fifth workshop of the Stronach ethics project and make my way to the boardroom. I have just started to set up when I am joined by John Holt, the CEO. John seems a little agitated today. He says that he is currently working on a big contract, so his diary is under pressure. This contract requires his attention today and so he might be called out of the workshop before the end. He apologises and says that would be disappointing – he is looking forward to today's session, especially the part on ethical leadership. He is looking for some pointers here – what might he be able to do, as chief executive officer, to set the tone and make a difference? I tell John not to worry, we will be able to work around his time constraints.

As I am considering what to do, the other three members of the team arrive together and immediately head for the coffee. I welcome them and say that John and I have been discussing today's workshop – John has important meetings scheduled and may have to leave early. I have a suggestion. John is interested today in particular in the piece on ethical leadership. So, I suggest that we begin with this and the related topic of tone at the top before reviewing how best to handle a crisis situation, something that Rachel Gordon, the Chairman, has asked about previously.

If we ...

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