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Values compromised? 4 fallback strategies

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Employees usually fall into four reactive modes when their employer asks them to compromise their values, according to a study by organizational consultant Elizabeth Doty:

Strategy 1: Playing to win. People log long hours and sacrifice family time to prove their individual value.

Strategy 2: Striving to survive. Employees hunker down, collect their paychecks, do what the organization requires and just hope to survive.

Strategy 3: Playing for the good guys. Employees identify, and work for, company leaders whose vision they can believe in.

Strategy 4: Opting to play a bigger, more moral game. Individuals leave to work in a setting with greater ethical values.

If you assume leadership with an organization that compromises ethics, observe your employees to determine which strategies they have adopted or will adopt. Your conclusions will help you lead them better and help you determine what strategy you should adopt.

—Adapted from “Winning the Devil’s Bargain,” Elizabeth Doty, Strategy+Business.

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