Responsiblity assumed is freedom

The other day, my son made dinner for me. He did this all on his own. He set the table, made sodas, cooked the food, served it, cleaned up and put things away.

He felt great. Really responsible.

This makes sense and if you've ready my books or viewed any of my videos - you I think personal responsibility is an important part of living ethically and fully.

But responsibility is a double edged sword.

Responsibility assumed makes you feel good. It’s about taking control – and that means freedom.

This is different from responsibility imposed.  That doesn't feel good at all and it feels like you are being controlled and that means lack of freedom.

The difference is that responsibility assumed is an internal decision you make.

Responsibility imposed is external decision. Something someone else does to you.

So the next time you are asked to be responsible for something (external imposition), reframe it - and make a conscious decision to accept the responsibility.

You may just find that your attitude and your feelings of well being improve as a result.

What does it mean to be an ethical, morally sound leader and manager: A humanist perspective

I teach humanistic management and leadership. My perspective comes from my experience and values as a Humanist.  This comes from questions I received from a reporter.


1. What tips do you have for managers who want to be an ethical leader?

The way to be an ethical leader – is to integrate ethics into your decision making. It’s central to it. The question – what a good outcome is – is a moral question. You first have to define what you mean by good.  Good can mean – more money – or getting the project done. Or it can mean – a problem is solved in a way that benefits humanity, your staff, your company and that makes you money.  An ethical leader is the person who defines ‘good’ in a holistic  and humanistic way in terms of well-being and flourishing and not just in an economistic way.



2. What do you define as an ethical leader?

An ethical leader is a leader who is ethical and who makes ethical decisions.



3. Why is being an ethical leader important? 

Ethical leaders are good leaders. If you aren’t a good leader – why even bother leading?  We all have choices. And we can choose to be good ethical people in all that we do. Or we can abandon our moral values to expediency.  Good ethical leaders are role models. People like them. They win awards. They are highly regarded. Unethical leaders are people no one wants to work for and they often end up and jail. Your choice, I know which one I would choose.



4. What tips do you have for building an ethical business? 

I discuss this in my new book: Applied Humanism: How to Create More Effective and Ethical Businesses. The way to create ethical businesses is to understand your business is in the business of solving problems. Commit to solving your problems, all your problems in an ethical effective way.  A big part of how to do this is how to think through problem solving in a way that integrates ethics and helps you avoid problem solving shortcuts that don’t work.  So – if you need energy to power your building, taking the time to think through the ethical implications of how and where you source your energy can help you be more ethical in business and help you gain a competitive advantage over your competitors if you do it well.  Same thing with staffing problems. How do you onboard and develop your staff with dignity?  How do you help your staff develop as humans? Do you encourage them to be ethical?  Do you promote bullies into management positions? There are literally no decisions your company makes that aren’t inherently ethical. So when you approach all decisions as ethical decisions – it will help you build an ethical business.



5. What can managers do to improve their leadership style?  

Take the time to care about the humans who work for and with you. Treat them with dignity and be a dignified person yourself and strive to live up to that ideal.   Fully see the people you work with as fully human. Ethical leadership is not just about the big questions of right and wrong. It’s also about the little decisions of how we handle our interpersonal relationships and interpersonal problems. It’s attention to both the macro and micro ethical questions that defines an ethical leader.

Stumped by Emotions

How do you define stupidity?  My friend - Kalai - stupidity just means you were stumped by your emotions.  What do you think?

It's time we talk about Pay Parity

Women don't earn as much as men. Shocker. I know. But this pay gap has long term consequences, not just for the women being short shifted, but for society at large.


People interested in humanistic management should to take pay equity seriously.  It is simply not acceptable for people doing the same job to be paid differently. 

One of the reasons I think this happens is because during the hiring process - part of the goal is to get hire labor at the least amount possible. This is why - the game of - not telling people what the position pays so it can be negotiated occurs.

And let's not kid ourselves. Paying as little as we can for labor - is the goal of the current system. The result  of that - is pay inequity.

So let's flip this upside down. And let's start assigning wages to the job - and not to the person doing the job.

This would eliminate all the game playing in hiring. People who need more - won't waste your time if the pay isn't what they want. All the stress of negotiation goes away. Everyone will be happier. If you can afford to pay a certain wage for a job - pay that wage for the job and stop playing salary games.

There are 2 resources I want to share with you.  First - is an interview with Marc Benioff of Salesforce regarding their efforts to create pay equity. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/salesforce-ceo-marc-benioff-leading-by-example-to-close-the-gender-pay-gap/

In order to make good on the promise of pay equity - they conducted a pay audit. Found out that they were not paying people equally - and equalized salaries up. Yes - up!   And then, they had to do it again - because pay inequity keeps creeping into their system. Why? Because the hiring and onboarding process - which is geared to getting labor and the lowest possible prices - doesn't lead to pay equity. It leads, by design, to pay inequality.

One way to solve this is to set a price for the position - not for the person. Oh look - I repeated myself. Let's say it again - set a price for the position - not for the person.  Figure out what a fair wage is - and pay it!

The next resource I want to share Paradigm for Parity -https://www.paradigm4parity.com/ - which is dedicated to creating gender parity at all levels of organizations.

Pay and gender parity isn't going to happen by magic. To make it happen - we have to take proactive steps to make it happen. So start having these conversations in your workplace and see if you can make things better - for all employees.


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