Following the news surrounding Sir Philip Green – blamed for the collapse of BHS and the £570m deficit in its pension fund – I wonder how he was able to fool so many for so long. Perhaps he didn’t; maybe those who weren’t involved lacked the courage to speak out.
A knighthood (or damehood) is one of the highest honours an individual in the UK can achieve; and you can only win the privilege through an extraordinary work achievement. Apparently Green received this distinction for his ‘retail business acumen’ which begs the question, how do irresponsible business practices get rewarded?
It would appear that performance isn’t always easy to judge.
As business leaders we are responsible for evaluating our people against numerous factors; not least asking if individuals are acting with integrity. We want to know if our managers are recruiting and developing good people; are they building systems and services that will strengthen the company – not just in the here and now; in the longer-term too.
We want to know if they are developing genuine management teams; and exhibiting behaviours that will lead to sustainable growth and long-term value.
So, who holds the CEO to account?
In this example it would appear that the motivation was to absolve themselves of responsibility by blaming others. Whereas, great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure.
This week’s link is for CEOs & MDs; who recognise that it’s lonely at the top and who are feeling the absence of a genuine peer group to sense check decisions.