My core values consist of autonomy, equality, and rationality. When compared to my top five values from the Clarifying your Values exercise, I felt they aligned fairly well. In my work and personal life, I have always strived to be autonomous which requires a minimum level of self-discipline, initiative, and responsibility to be successful. When viewed in the context of completing my MBA through Western Governors University, I have a great deal of freedom and independence around where I take my courses, high level of responsibility to manage work, life, and school simultaneously while holding myself accountable to finish the program on-time.
When I think about living equality, I see this most prevalent in my workplace. As a leader of individual contributors, I am tasked with ensuring they have the tools and resources to meet minimum expectations of the role. There are times when team members have opportunities to improve functional skills that I need to bring attention to. If I have two team members that demonstrate deficiencies, it is not fair to the team member or company if I only coach one team member and not the other. Choosing not to adequately coach both team members could convey that one team member is held in a higher regard than another, which is not true.
The second example of demonstrating equality is ensuring my team members are paid in an equitable fashion. Recently I uncovered two long-term team members that were receiving a lower base salary compared to peers with the same level of experience. To rectify the issue, I took the initiative to present a business case that would allow the team members to be in closer alignment with the rest of the team. As a result, the request was approved and pending notification of the increase. If I chose to continue business as usual, there is a high percentage that the disparity would have continue to go unnoticed until it was too late.
Team member turnover is often driven by two factors; opportunity and compensation. By taking the initiative to correct the pay of two team members, I am increasing my chances of retaining the team member for a longer period of time. Rationality attributes directly correlate with my last value of success. In my experience, high performing individuals tend to exhibit the values such as being predictable, loyal, faithful along with being trustworthy. This is most prevalent with my organizations senior leadership team. Most of the professionals at the director and vice president level have been with the organization in excess of 10 years.
Classic The two classic virtues that align to my ethical lens are temperance and justice. I would agree that temperance is fitting for my demeanor. During meetings and discussions, I often find that I am restrained in conveying my ideas which could also be considered part of practicing self-control. With regards to justice, I would concur that I aim to be fair when dealing with my direct and indirect team. Applying the Ethical Lens As I progress through my professional leadership career, leveraging my lens to address ethical situations will be vital to my ongoing success.
Undoubtedly I will experience situations that will test my personal fortitude to uphold ethical standards. They key is to remind myself if my decisions 1) ensure all stakeholders are considered and heard 2) the community / institution are healthy and effective as a result 3) enhance the achievement of the organizations goals and values 4) enhance relationships within the organization. Ethical Dilemma In my organization, our sales team develops robust sales pipelines that are communicated to the executive team on a weekly basis.
When I was part of a previous sales region, I observed inflated entries into the CRM that would indicate higher amounts of opportunities than what was actually present. Context Why might a sales professional embellish their sales pipeline? Our organization measures pipeline levels and uses this as one of the key performance indicators (KPI’s). The KPI’s are stack ranked and based on your overall score, the sales professional is placed in the respective quartile. When a sales professional is located in the fourth quartile, there is a performance improvement plan instituted to correct the deficiency.
Hence, if a sales professional can manipulate their sales pipeline to achieve a higher score this will ultimately impact their overall ranking and potentially place them in a higher quartile and avoid any performance management. Solutions There are two potential solutions to address reporting discrepancies. The first is adjust the weighting of the pipeline for reporting purposes. If the pipeline weighting was adjusted, it may reduce some the pressure to “look good on a report’. The second is to eliminate the pipeline component from reporting all together.
If the pipeline component was removed, it would eliminate some of the need to manipulate the pipeline. Implementing the Solution Using the relationship lens, I would make the recommendation to remove pipeline reporting all together from the KPI ranking. The organization needs an accurate sales pipeline to adequately measure progress towards particular enterprise goals. When an accurate pipeline tells a story that the organization is meeting revenue thresholds, it can be concluded the enterprise is effective and healthy from that particular financial measurement.
From an external shareholder perspective, the relationship is strengthened between the Company and shareholder through accurate portrayals of revenue forecasting which allows investors to make informed decisions. Reflection By removing the pipeline reporting from KPI rankings, it enables the sales professional to conduct their day-to-day business without the temptation of embellishing records for the need to inflate themselves on arbitrary reporting.
Ultimately all stakeholders benefit from accurate forecasting 1) the sales professional can better gauge their business and speak to it in a factual manner 2) leadership can confidently deliver guidance based on the reporting 3) investors benefit from a clearer view of forward looking statements from the Company. During the course of this writing, a leader was exemplified by detailing their ethical conduct. Following the account of ethical conduct, my personal ethical lens was discussed at great length. Nevertheless, an ethical dilemma was presented with potential solutions along with reflection of that decision.