Addressing Negativism in the Workplace – Nu Leadership Series

“…This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
St. Matthew 15: 8

In every direction that I look I see the failures of today’s leaders in the media. Many people don’t look to leaders as their heroes today. Why are people so negative about leaders? Cynicism has spread in America’s workplaces. I work with Generation Y. They don’t trust organized institutions, but they aren’t alone. Kouzer and Posner, authors of Credibility, explain that three-fourths of employees believe top executives do pretty much what they want no matter what people think. The authors also argue that the increase in cynicism in the workplace is due to the decline of credibility among executives. Do you feel negative about your organizational leaders? Have they lost their credibility too? This kind of negative trend can hurt organizations.

With the numerous scandals of unethical conduct by corporate and government executives, many wonder what’s happening. Is it all about pride and power? Jesus dealt with this superiority complex with the Jewish elite class, the Pharisee and Sadducees. In Matthew 15:8, Jesus criticized the hypocrisy: “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Unfortunately, unethical leaders have spawned this cynicism in America by their bad examples. Therefore, effective organizations need to closely evaluate their future leaders to correct this problem.

Reference:
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Credibility. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
© 2006 by Daryl D. Green