Between social media, #metoo, and all the various corporate crises that have hit the airwaves in the last couple of years, transparency in the business has become tantamount. The need for leaders who lead by example will only increase with time. But example is about more than looking good in public choices that are made.
As the #metoo movement shows, too many have been in situations where someone in a power position may have used it in harmful ways. That movement hasn’t just been about employers and leaders. But the stories that have caught and held huge amounts of attention have often been about leaders such as Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, and Kevin Spacey. Note – we are not declaring anyone guilty or innocent in this, just recognizing the damage done once news makes its way out to the public. Especially if multiple allegations have been made over several years.
Political choices fall in this category as well. And by the way, politics aren’t just about politicians, but about policies as well. But leaders should be aware of the outcome of making private politics public. When those politics align with your customer base it works great. When it goes through the middle of your base, then making a hard stand could cut your business in half. All the same, if it’s something you and your organization believe in, you might consider using that to unite your people.
Some political ideas that have been used by leaders and corporations include helping to train immigrants and refugees, veteran support services, improvement of inner city conditions, help for third-world countries, supporting various charities, and more.
Another consideration for you and your company might be in the development of your female employees and offering more and better opportunities for advancement among them. If this is particularly important to you, also consider offering the chance for women to develop necessary skills in leadership and some in non-traditional efforts for women.
Having said all of that, the basics for being a good example are still the same as they have always been. Be honest, be thoughtful, care about and for others, and making sure your word is your bond. The lessons many learned from their mother are still what can make you a great example, for your own children, your employees, and the world at large. Those may be foreign concepts to many, but they are worth the effort.
Joshua Gruss is the CEO of Roundhill Music