“If we aren’t willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren’t willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe them at all.” – Barack Obama
The Corporate world is full of "leaders" who espouse their values at any given opportunity. And that's a good thing. In a world with diminishing spirituality and organised religion, of failing political conviction and reduced community involvement the role of the Corporate "Values Champion" can be a potent one.
The problem, though, as with many religious organisations, political parties and community groups is that the espoused values are not always matched by actions & behaviours. This disconnect between Values and Behaviours is, to my mind, the key to the disillusionment with the role of Leaders.
Indeed, the notion that an individual behaves in a manner at odds with, or not aligned to, their values is anathema to the very definition of exercising leadership. Exercising Leadership is all about DOING good (it's an action) ... and logic dictates that the 'good' must surely be aligned to the Values communicated by an Individual or Group.
An examination of any Corporate downfall (Enron et al), Government failure (take your pick) or Community Group disgrace (Churches, Schools.. the list goes on) suggests that, at the core, the rot set in when the Values & Behaviours failed to align.
The answer? Being bold enough to admit your Behaviours are wrong, and change course. Or, being bold enough to admit that your Values have changed, and acknowledging that change. Failure to take either course of action will always end in mediocrity (as best) or humiliation (or more, at worst). In the end, as the old Australian Labor Party stalwart, Graham Richardson, says ..."the mob will always work you out...".