Progressively during the last 200 years a majority of corporate business leaders have drifted into ruthlessly pursuing ‘financial profit delivered to shareholders’ as their organizations’ business modus-operandi. The recent “Global Economic Financial Crisis’ resulting in far-ranging detrimental impacts upon people, employees, suppliers, communities and nationalities is a dire warning about the current business “profit-only, at all costs” model. Is this the only approach for business that can achieve sustainable results?
Is there an alternative, more enlightened approach? The book ‘Enlightened Leaders’ written by Penny Sophocleous begins by recognising that there is an alternative view; that perceives the prime purpose of business is the benefit, growth and progress of human beings. That business has a primary purpose of creation of opportunity, support and the increase of wellbeing of human communities. Businesses’ facilitate and inspire people to increased creativity, innovation and contribution in the form of excellence and superior performance. That in the business’s delivery of its services people can express their talents and capabilities; with the operative term being ‘service’ both to people at large and to shareholders.
Enlightened Leaders recognise that each and every person is coded to operate within certain principles, Truth, Respect, Justice, Integrity and Trust and that it is their responsibility to ensure that the environment and culture of their organisation supports the expression of these core principles and not their compromise. The book introduces the Humanity Principles model, based upon the inter-relationship and convergence of five principles – Integrity, Truth, Fairness and Justice, Respect, Trust and the exercise of these principles in the application of Power. The principles, their inner working and consequences are described in a modern, intelligent and understandable way with examples of both principled results and unprincipled outcomes and impacts.
Our world needs more Leaders who have taken the hard decisions to operate from their own core humanity, fixed their Integrity in order to be trustworthy and trusted, to use the power granted to them by their position to progress their employees and their business in socially responsible ways. Such leaders are able to balance the economic considerations of their business decisions from a fair and just perspective, minimizing the influence of their own financial self-interests as the driver of their decision making. They are able to access the principles of Truth, Respect, Fairness and Justice when the financial, hard decisions need to be taken.
The book both inspires and challenges leaders to realign their executive teams, their organizational structures, their supply chains and their relationships in the world in order to unleash peoples’ innate creativity, innovation and talent. Sustainable success into the future will rely upon these Human Principles being understood, promoted and utilised.
The book gives leaders access to many questionnaires to help them gain clarity on the thinking and standards needed to create principle centred organizations. Penny provides case studies of several principle centred organizations such as The John Lewis Partnership and Arup, as real-world success stories with a wealth of best practice detail that readers will find extremely useful.
8 February 2016