I’ve been thinking about personal responsibility and how this ties in to those of us who run businesses, large and small.
I find that most of the time those who run and own their business will operate with much more integrity, authenticity and morality than those who run businesses for others, but are not major shareholders in that business. Some public companies are a great example of businesses that often are run with anything but integrity.
I believe the reason for this is the lack of personal responsibility and accountability that exists in some public companies. At the end of the day those who are in senior management rarely if ever have to pay for bad decisions on a personal basis. In fact, many times they are sent away with a huge golden parachute that allows them to move to their next venture being financially independent.
We have a problem with morality in large organizations whether they are in the private sector or government. Both are charged with working in the best interest of the shareholders or the public. Too often we find the leaders of these organizations did not work in the best interests of their stakeholders. In the financial management world we often are asked to be a fiduciary for our Clients. The same is or at least should be true with public corporations as well as government.
Unless there is a personal price to pay, we won’t see any significant changes. When the leaders of these organizations get caught doing unethical things, they usually don’t pay a personal price. If they ruin their company, they just leave and sit on the sidelines and sometimes even re-appear in another company within a few months.
Greed is not good, although many in our society think it is. Being morale pays off. For those in small companies the owners know this from first hand experience. If they don’t run their companies with integrity, eventually their customers will go away and they go out of business. If this happens the owner pays a huge personal economic and psychic cost. In the public realm this doesn’t seem to always happen.
Until we can figure out how to hold the people who run pubic companies accountable personally for their actions, we won’t see any changes.
As always, let me know what you think. Starting a conversation is always a good thing. Please email me at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com with any thoughts you might have.