- Do the Ends Justify the Means? The culture that Murdoch fostered was a win-at-all-costs, pulverize-the-competition culture. The implicit (and, perhaps, explicit) message was the ends justify the means. Doing whatever it takes to win often leads to losses (financial, reputational, moral and otherwise) that exceed the gain. If your boss is pushing a win-at-all-costs approach, they’re unfit to lead.
- Does the Boss Look the Other Way? Those who remember Enron probably recall that while the COO and the CFO were cooking the books, the CEO, Ken Lay, was saying everything was just fine right up until the day the company imploded. Likewise, in the News Corp. case Murdoch has said he was unaware of what was going on with the hacking. It’s just not credible is it? If your boss is looking the other way while bad stuff is going on, they’re unfit to lead.
- Do They Own Up or Do They Cover Up? No one is perfect and since they’re made up of people, there are no perfect organizations. Mistakes will be made. The question is when the mistakes come to light does the boss own up or cover up? It seems like every week we see another example of the cover up being worse than the crime. If your boss’s instinct is to cover up mistakes, they’re unfit to lead.
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