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Your Code of Ethics

ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com Are You a Leader of Self or a Blind Follower to Others? The Tone at the Top which is depicted by every action of leadership within an organization, sets the tone by which all other individual’s actions are measured, tolerated, and expected. 

Why do some cities that were once great, wander aimlessly and waste away into a state of mere existence? Why do once great organizations cease to exist? Why do families that seem to be strong, digress into a routine of continual crisis? The answer is simple: lack of tone leads to lack of quality performance. This produces a cascade of endless, cancerous outcomes. 

Tone (standards of conduct if you will) is instantly set and telegraphed by the actions, behaviors, comments, vocal tones, word selection, defensiveness, posture, dress, acceptance, non-acceptance, and emotional display of every individual within an organization. 

Many times it is the compulsion to defend what you know and have done, rather than investing that same amount of time in learning what you do not know. That sets organizational tone! 

Whether in politics, the military, business, or family, the tone set by the titular figure head sets the atmosphere of conduct, the culture of expectation, and the environment for efficiency or lack thereof. For many, a sense of aimlessness seems to prevail, as leaders continue to be void of self respect, decency, or internal mettle. If a leader stands for nothing, the masses will surely fall for everything! 

It takes true leadership-of-self to set tone. In many instances, the tone is never even set because there is no real leader, merely mice (among men/women) that have evolved upward. Or worse, the tone is not set because performance is impeded due to:

1. Individuals that wait to see what the daily opinion polls indicate as the popular path, regardless of whether or not it is the necessary path – that is not leadership but mere management. 

2. Individuals that live a life prescribed to them by others, squandering their own greatness. As a result, they never blossom, and fail to bless others with their inherent abilities - that is not leadership but mere management. 

3. Many individuals rationalize away self respect and decency. They lament that it is not important whether their actions are ethical. It only matters whether they are legal; lack of tone is seen when someone fixates on parching words, rather than having legitimate sound tone - that is not leadership but mere management. 

4. Individuals that live in a bubble, emulating someone else’s life, instead of recognizing there is no longer a bubble (glass) or ceiling, except that which is self-imposed - that is not leadership but mere management. 

5. Individuals that maintain a sense of complacency by limiting solution tones in their life and demanding that their misery be shared by all - that is not leadership but mere management. 

6. Individuals that continue to live a life defined by limits, instead of recognizing that they could change their tone and live a life of abundance - that is not leadership but mere management. 

There are seven deadly sins of leadership, management, and even “followership” that research has revealed set the tone for greatness to be experienced and grown. First detailed in 2000 in COACHING FOR IMPACT: Generational Connectivity by my colleague Dr. Jay Kent-Ferraro and myself, recent years have only provided alarming mass examples that these findings are more accurate today than projected some many years ago! 

Using these seven as Codes one can adhere to each in setting a tone of excellence or ignore and have them develop into a fatal sin to survivability: 

1. Competence… better to be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. Feeling compelled to dominate conversation and decision loops when one has the weakest resume in the room on a given topic is a sin ... We truly have the blind leading the blind in far too many instances. As a result, incompetency is the rule of the day! 

Antidote – Tone is set when one has a self-desire to always be increasing their MAGEE Your Code of Ethics Sets the Tone at the Top & Reveals Everything Jeff Magee, PhD, PDM, CSP, CMC, the “Thought Leader’s Leader.” Jeff is the publisher of Performance 360 Magazine, Editor of Performance Execution and Performance Driven Selling blogs, a former nationally syndicated Radio Talk Show Host as well as a published author of several books including Performance Execution, The Managerial Leadership Bible, The Sales Training Handbook, and Your Trajectory Code. He is also a columnist and highly sought motivationalleadership speaker. The recipient of the United States Junior Chamber’s Ten Outstanding Young American’s (TOYA) Award, and the United States National GUARD’s Total Victory Team Medal for civilian contribution to the Armed Services. He can be reached at DrJeffSpeaks@aol.com. www.ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com Jeff Magee ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com competence and open to continued education. 

2. Accountability… do as I say and not as I do … we have sown seeds of “excuseability,” and the tone says “you can’t hold me accountable” … This is the “I will tell my mommy-syndrome” and in adulthood it is called, “I will sue!” 

Antidote – Tone is set when one has a willingness for self-accountability, peer-accountability and organizationalaccountability feedback. 

3. Integrity… is that inner mettle that guides your actions when there is no one around to observe … a personal Code of Ethics … We see far too many double standards defining integrity and it is as if no one has internal self-respect, dignity, or shame! 

Antidote – Tone is set when one has a moral, professional, and personal GPS that is sound. 

4. Professional Responsibility and Duty… to do what is known to be right, regardless of self-promotion, gain, or popularity ... We have created the society of the maximum pay check for minimal effort, and it has placed our society in a grave position … Now nearly every business and governmental agency is in fiscal paralysis! 

Antidote – Tone is set when one has a reputation of doing what is expected of them and never wavering. 

5. Respect for Rights and Personal Dignity… the Golden Rule … As a world of over political correctness abounds, the tough love that many need has become unfashionable. As a result, the tones of civility have been deafened! 

Antidote – Tone is set when one has the ability to be civil among others, while not allowing excuses to prevail for others that would violate these seven tones. 

6. Commitment to the Other Person… knowing that when times get tough people will stand by you, has seemingly disappeared. Unfortunately, we have constant reminders that when times get tough, people abandon one another immediately for the survival-of-the-fittest syndrome … No one cares for the other person, many say they do, yet few offer a helping hand. This says a lot about someone’s tone! 

Antidote – Tone is set when one has an ability to do what they know to be correct, moral, and fair, even in the face of the absurd PC. 

7. Social Responsibility… a mindset of “this is not my back yard, so why should I care?” has become systemic … Drive around your neighborhood and see how everyone treats one another, observe what the ground looks like and how people engage one another; The ground we live and walk upon, can be thought of as the tonal face of the planet. Yet it is dumped upon regularly! 

Antidote – Tone is set when one feels comfortable with how others would treat them. 

It is no longer attractive for everyone to enjoy success. Performance impediment has become a modern day sport. A dangerous philosophy of sabotage is becoming more and more prevalent, that in order to “win” someone else must “lose”. When a person changes their tone, they instantly change their destination. Is it time to evaluate your tone? How do others truly see you? 

Your destination is your tone! 




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