We have emphasized the four frames as cognitive lenses for understanding and tools for in”uencing collective endeavors. Our focus has been the heads and hands of leaders. Both are vitally important. But so are hearts and souls. The frames also carry implications for creating ethical communities and for reviving the moral virtues of leadership. Exhibit 19.1 summarizes our view.
Exhibit 19.1. Reframing Ethics.
Frame Metaphor Organizational Ethic Leadership Contribution
Structural Factory Excellence Authorship
Human resource Extended family Caring Love
Political Jungle Justice Power
Symbolic Temple Faith, Belief Signi!cance
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The Factory: Excellence and Authorship One of our oldest images of organizations is that of factories engaged in a production process. Raw materials (steel, peanuts, or !ve-year-olds) come in the door and leave as !nished products (refrigerators, peanut butter, or educated graduates). The ethical impera- tive of the factory is excellence: ensuring that work is done as effectively and ef!ciently as possible to produce high-quality yields. Since the 1982 publication of Peters and Water- man’s famous book, almost everyone has been searching for excellence, although “awed products and mediocre services keep reminding us that the hunt does not always bring home the quarry.
One source of disappointment is that excellence requires more than pious sermons from top management; it demands commitment and autonomy at all levels of an enterprise. How do leaders foster such dedication? As we’ve said before, “Leading is giving. Leadership is an ethic, a gift of oneself” (Bolman and Deal, 2011, p. 122). Critical for creating and maintaining excellence is the gift of authorship:
Authorship turns the classic organizational pyramid on its side and provides� space within boundaries. Leaders increase their in”uence and build more� productive organizations. Workers experience the satisfactions of creativity,� craftsmanship, and a job well done. Authorship transcends the traditional� adversarial relationship in which superiors try to increase control while� subordinates resist them at every turn. Trusting people to solve problems� generates higher levels of motivation and better solutions. The leader’s respon- sibility is to create conditions that promote authorship. Individuals need to see� their work as meaningful and worthwhile, to feel personally accountable for the� consequences of their efforts, and to get feedback that lets them know the results� (Bolman and Deal, 2011, pp. 128–129).�
Google provides a contemporary example of the power of authorship. Among the many ways that Google supports both the expression and development of talent is its 70/20/10 time allocation model—10 percent of an engineer’s time is allocated for “innovation, creativity, and freedom to think,” and 20 percent is for “personal development that will ultimately bene!t the company.” In terms of revenue per employee, Google’s staff are among the most productive on the planet. Internet retailer Zappos has a different approach. Zappos’ core value #3 is “create fun and a little weirdness,” followed by #4, “be adventurous, creative, and open-minded.” Does Zappos take those values seriously? Maybe, but they de!nitely take them playfully. Where else do employees in the !nance department do a
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weekly parade around the of!ce performing random acts of kindness? How many companies encourage their people to create video musicals and skits that can be posted on the website? Zappos believes that a culture of fun and family underpins core value #1, “deliver WOW through service.” The business results support their faith.
The Family: Caring and Love Caring—one person’s compassion and concern for another—is both the primary purpose and the ethical glue that holds a family together. Parents care for children and, eventually, children care for their parents. A compassionate family or community requires servant- leaders concerned with the needs and wishes of members and stakeholders. This creates a challenging obligation for leaders to understand and to provide stewardship of the collective well being. The gift of the servant-leader is love.
Love is largely absent from most modern corporations. Most managers would never use the word in any context more profound than their feelings about food, family, !lms, or games. They shy away from love’s deeper meanings, fearing both its power and its risks. Caring begins with knowing; it requires listening, understanding, and accepting. It progresses through a deepening sense of appreciation, respect, and ultimately love. Love is a willingness to reach out and open one’s heart. An open heart is vulnerable. Confronting vulnerability allows us to drop our mask, meet heart to heart, and be present for one another. We experience a sense of unity and delight in those voluntary, human exchanges that mold “the soul of community” (Whitmyer, 1993, p. 81).
At Southwest Airlines, they talk openly about love. Former president Colleen Barrett reminisced, “Love is a word that isn’t used often in corporate America, but we used it at Southwest from the beginning.” The word love is woven into the culture. They “y out of Love Field in Dallas; their symbol on the New York Stock Exchange is LUV; the employee newsletter is called Luv Lines; and their twentieth anniversary slogan was “Twenty Years of Loving You” (Levering and Moskowitz, 1993). They hold an annual “Heroes of the Heart” ceremony to honor members of the Southwest family who have gone above and beyond even Southwest’s high call of duty. There are, of course, ups and downs in any family, and the airline industry certainly experiences both. Through life’s peaks and valleys, love holds people—both employees and passengers—together in a caring community.
The Jungle: Justice and Power Woody Allen captured the political frame’s competitive, predator-prey imagery succinctly: “The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won’t get much sleep” (Allen, 1986, p. 28). As the metaphor suggests, the jungle is a politically charged environment of
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con”ict and pursuit of self-interest. Politics and politicians are routinely viewed as objects of scorn—often for good reason. Their behavior tends to prompt the question: Is there any ethical consideration associated with political action? We believe there is: the commitment to justice. In a world of competing interests and scarce resources, people are continually compelled to make trade-offs. No one can give everyone everything they want, but it is possible to adhere to a value of fairness in making decisions about who gets what. Solomon (1993, p. 231) sees justice as the ultimate virtue in corporations, because the perception that employees, customers, and investors are all getting their due is the glue that holds everyone together.
Justice is never easy to de!ne, and disagreement about its application is inevitable. The key gift that leaders can offer in pursuit of justice is sharing power. People with a voice in key decisions are far more likely to feel a sense of fairness than those with none. Leaders who hoard power produce powerless organizations. People stripped of power look for ways to !ght back: sabotage, passive resistance, withdrawal, or angry militancy. Giving power liberates energy for more productive use. If people have a sense of ef!cacy and an ability to in”uence their world, they are more likely to direct their energy and intelligence toward making a contribution rather than making trouble. The gift of power enrolls people in working toward a common cause. It also creates dif!cult choice points. If leaders clutch power too tightly, they activate old patterns of antagonism. But if they cave in and say yes to anything, they put an organization’s mission at risk.
During the Reagan administration, House Speaker “Tip”O’Neill was a constant thorn in the side of the president, but they carved out a mutually just agreement: They would !ght ferociously for their independent interests but stay civil and !nd fairness wherever possible. Their rule: “After six o’clock, we’re friends, whatever divisiveness the political battle has produced during working hours.” Both men gave each other the gift of power. During one acrimonious public debate between the two, Reagan reportedly whispered, “Tip, can we pretend it’s six o’clock?” (Neuman, 2004, p. 1).
Power and authorship are related; autonomy, space, and freedom are important in both. Still, there is an important distinction between the two. Artists, authors, and craftspeople can experience authorship even working alone. Power, in contrast, is meaningful only in relation to others. It is the capacity to wield in”uence and get things to happen on a broader scale. Authorship without power is isolating and splintering; power without authorship can be dysfunctional and oppressive.
The gift of power is important at multiple levels. As individuals, people want power to control their immediate work environment and the factors that impinge on them directly. Many traditional workplaces still suffocate their employees with time clocks, rigid rules, and
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authoritarian bosses. A global challenge at the group level is responding to ethnic, racial, and gender diversity. Gallos, Ramsey, and their colleagues get to the heart of the complexity of this issue: