We have made tremendous progress in recent years in educating managers about the importance of modeling behaviors that engage employees and contribute to the quality of work-life within organizations. While the days of the capricious, vindictive boss are not entirely over, a new generation of managers has grown up valuing teamwork and corporate social responsibility.
That said, there is still much work to do in developing managerial talent. Few organizations have developed comprehensive models for managers to follow. An enlightened model of management would integrate positive manager-staff behaviors and attitudes with advanced principles concerning work, organization, community, and the environment.
Although personal attitudes and beliefs will inevitably shape and refine the application of enlightened models for individual managers, there are certain core values and behaviors that define the enlightened manager. Here is a suggested starting point for that definition.
An enlightened manager —
1. Sees the value in people as being intrinsic, more than just what they do on the job.
2. Sees work as a potential path to self-fulfillment.
3. Believes that the means (production) and the ends (output) should harm no one.
4. Believes that employees, customers, vendors, all stakeholders should be treated respectfully, honestly, and fairly.
5. Believes in and advocates for corporate social responsibility within the organization.
6. Believes that winning lifts everyone.
7. Believes in the importance of acting ethically and guiding others to do likewise.
8. Believes that products should be safe.
9. Believes that products should meet or exceed customer expectations.
10. Believes that advertising and marketing programs should be credible and ethical.
11. Believes that employees should be given an opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
12. Believes in proactively encouraging employees to grow personally and professionally.
13. Believes that credit should be given where credit is due.
14. Believes that teamwork works.
15. Believes that people are basically good and can be trusted to do the right thing.
16. Believes that learning is a virtue and practices active learning at work and encourages others to do likewise.
17. Knows that at the end of the day, if cash coming in does not exceed cash going out, he or she is not enlightened.
18. Believes that in the long view capitalism, personal ownership and wealth have been forces for good.
19. Believes that the greed of some requires a reasonable amount of regulation and rules to protect those who might be harmed.
20. Believes that humans have a moral responsibility to protect the environment.
21. Believes that all life is sacred and that humans have a special responsibility to protect those creatures who are unable to defend and protect themselves from human interference.
22. Believes that humanity is evolving and that his or her behavior should not be regressive but should move humanity forward.
23. Believes that conflict can be resolved fairly and equitably given the good intentions of those in conflict.
24. Believes that those who at first seem less talented or skillful deserve a chance to find their proper “level” within an organization.
25.Celebrates and applies usefully the diversity of people within the organization.
26. Makes a strong personal effort and encourages others to accept people with different traditions, customs, beliefs, and social values.
27. Believes that everyone — whether they know it or not — is searching for meaning in life and work.
28. Believes there is value in bringing one’s authentic self to work and encourages others to do likewise.
29. Believes in the importance of seeking balance in our lives, between work and play, thinking and doing, giving and taking, leading and following, teaching and learning.