Values

“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

                       ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

VALUES…who has them? who’s lost them? and is there a new emerging ethic?

Headlines for the last few weeks have screamed news about leaders whose values are in question.  Bottom line—the values leaders bring to their job affect all of those around them—whether good or bad.  Some troubling examples:

  • The head of the Galleon Group, a $3 billion dollar hedge fund, is convicted of insider trading.
  • A United States senator has been forced to resign amid an ongoing ethics investigation into his conduct.
  • Four months after the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, one of the commissioners who voted for the deal said she would soon join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office.

But take heart. This month, we spoke to three leaders whose values we admire:

Joanne Schram Mealia

Meet Joanne Schram Mealia, Strategic Sales Leader, Canada, North American Subscription and Support, IBM Software Group, IBM Canada Ltd.  Joanne talked to us about values from a corporate perspective.  Since IBM works internationally, Joanne discussed how her company is very cognizant that it has to be fact-based and responsible.  According to Joanne, “We take full responsibility when we make mistakes and we correct any issues.  We try to be beyond reproach in our transactions.”

Joanne embodies the values she’s learned at IBM:

  • Dedication to every client’s success
  • Innovation that matters—for our company and for the world
  • Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships

Joanne believes that a culture that operates under these values just works.  She sees great worth in an organization that spells out ethical guidelines—where employees watch out for each other and she, like everyone else, signs a business conduct guideline every year.  Joanne maintains that, “If everyone understands that this is the way IBM operates, everyone rises with you.  I love operating as a common culture.”

Jared Weiner

Jared Weiner is Vice President of Weiner, Edrich, Brown, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms.  In the business of identifying change, his firm continually tracks social, economic, political and technological trends, and ever-changing values.

Jared shared with us his research on the difference between those with years of “time in grade” and those newer to the workforce.  Today’s “new” workers have a different value system—they want to work on their own terms, in their own way, and keep the power.  They’re not going to stay in one job or one profession like earlier generations have done. Their pattern will be to jump around from job to job.  He suggests that companies need to promote quickly or people will leave.  According to Jared, this feeling of impermanence is what Gen Y has grown up with—knowing that there is no such thing as a long-term, linear career path anymore.  Instead, people should expect to have numerous careers.

Here’s what Jared says we can expect:

  • Technology comes along and disrupts, creating new economies, vistas and opportunities
  • The pace of change is going to continue to compound and increase
  • People will have to become adaptable
  • We have to train ourselves to be objective
  • Life stages are different

Nancy Widmann

Nancy C. Widmann has over twenty-five years of experience in broadcasting and marketing.  Prior to starting a consulting and coaching business, Nancy had a distinguished career at CBS, Inc. She is co-author of I Didn’t See It Coming: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Avoid Being Blindsided in Business.  We talked with Nancy about a subject near and dear to us—how to meld your core personal values with your business values.

According to Nancy, it’s deeply personal—what is important to you as a human being is what you need to bring to work to be healthy.  “I didn’t always do that,” she told us candidly.  “I look back and I do have some regrets.  As the only woman in my business at CBS, I felt a huge pressure to succeed.  I have enormous drive and I sometimes walked over people.  But, I did some great good, too, when I finally got to a position where I could manage more people.  I fought very hard when I got to that level—to not put things on the air that weren’t good for the consumer.”

“I was raised to treat people decently. And I raised my daughter to be a good person—a good human being.  I am so proud of what she’s accomplished—but more so, I’m proud of how she’s raising her daughter.  I’m proud of the person she is.  I watch as she interacts with her daughter teaching her to be kind and good to other people.”

Nancy told us that she had three wishes for the world today:

  • When we determine which companies and people are successful, to mix in values and not just the bottom line.
  • If our leaders (CEO and politicians) start to tell people that values are important, we may see a change.
  • To honor people as successes who aren’t just bottom-line successes—let’s honor our heroes and heroines.

Next time:  Creative Play…do we really know how to dig around in the sandbox?

See you then,
The Team at “Producing Your Career”

Producing Your Career is a division of Bedlam Productions Inc.

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