I was in a workshop recently when I learned about a General in the US Army that got tired of his people always coming to him for a final decision on almost everything.
He came up with four questions to answer when each is faced with a decision. Each person need to ask and answer these four questions in order to make the best ethical decision. Here they are:
1. Is it legal/ethical?
2. Is it good for the customer?
3. Is it consistent with our shared values?
4. Are you willing to be held accountable?
If the answer to each of the four questions is yes, then he said” just do it.” No need to contact me any longer. Just do it!
If there is at least one “no”, reconsider until you can answer them all yes, or don’t make the decision at all. Guess which question caused one to seriously ponder?
As I thought about this, this is genius, in that the whole process was based on one willing to be held accountable for the decision. The first three questions are relatively easier to answer.
But when one has agreed to take full responsibility for his/her decision, that takes the onus off the leader and rightly on the one who made the decision.
I like this!