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Archive for February, 2013

What does the “Lie in LIBOR” mean for you?

Perhaps you think The lies in the LIBOR scandal doesn’t affect you?
The CEO and chairman resign, 13 employees disciplined and five dismissed at Barclays, 25 bankers were forced to leave UBS and others disciplined and dismissed in RBS. US $1.5 billion Fines for UBS,  Barclays fined US $464 million and RBS fine even bigger and running into many millions of Dollars with at least 13 other banks under investigation.

There were more than $ 300 trillion contracts linked to LIBOR including mortgages, student loans and interest rate swaps with at the moment at least 30 lawsuits filed.

What is more concerned when you read the Bloomberg article March 2013 is the way that LIBOR was rigged was in the 3 ways traders attempt to manipulate the rate. Firstly by conspiring with rate setters, then colluding with other banks and finally bribing inter-dealer brokers.

So many seriously dishonest and near criminal acts linked to LIBOR rigging happened at the height of the financial crisis. So what must we do to avoid dishonesty continuing to fester, or breaking out in other parts of the banks and industry?

The first thing to have inspiring leaders who model high levels of integrity, and courage to tackle dishonesty and unhealthy toxic behaviour. Even now in the big banks a blind eye is still turned (by some so called “leaders”) to employees who misbehave provided they make lots of money and deliver on their numbers.
Profits at any cost have serious implications for us all.

So you think integrity is a nice to have?

How corrosive do you think a lack of integrity is for a company?
Here are some recent examples that I have come across:
1. Senior executives who overlook dishonesty in their staff, as long as those individual delivers and makes money.
2. Bosses who are too focused on their own financial package and benefits to be concerned about motivating their own staff.
3. Petty arguments between board members which infect the whole organisation and reduce the level of performance.
4. CEOs who play favourites and deliberately set off one executive board member against another like fighting dogs and enjoys watching the outcome.
5. CEOs who insist junior staff have leadership and development programmes, yet hypocritically think they and their board are too good to need any development themselves.

Sadly this is reality rather than fiction; what is your organisation like?

Warm regards Jonathan

You need courageous employees not more rules and regulations to tackle corruption

Many Thanks to Peter Neville Lewis and his South African colleague, Wendy Addison, Founder of  Speak  Out – Speak Up  for the powerful words below.  I have reproduced this from his wonderful blog which I recommend:

http://www.principledconsulting.biz/blog
Wendy was the whistle blowing Corporate Treasurer at Leisure Net, a major corporate accounting scandal in South Africa, back in 2000, which eventually landed the director participants in prison.
However the threats made against her, for her actions, were so severe that she had to leave SA and now lives in London.

“Murder will out”, as Shakespeare has it, and when it is revealed that organisations may not only have committed misdeeds, but attempted to suppress them over time, the damage to reputation, credibility and more hard-nosed measures of business success can be enormous.
In today’s ‘gotcha’ culture no tryst is sure to remain secret, no racial slur goes unrecorded, no corporate wrongdoing can be safely buried forever in a company’s locked filing cabinets.. Today anyone with a mobile phone and access to a computer has the power to bring down a billion pound corporation or even a government.

Legislation alone cannot make organizations open and healthy. Only the character and will of those who run them and participate in them can do that.  If a culture of collusion exists instead of a culture of candour, participants will find ways around the rules, new or old, however stringent. However, embedding the values of Trust, Candour and Transparency in an organisation’s culture is like having hundreds of internal auditors out there in every function of the company and will automatically lead to staff speaking out against wrongdoing.

A PwC survey of 5,400 companies in 40 countries found that 40 per cent were victims of serious economic crimes, averaging over £3 million in losses. Employees exposed 43 per cent of these – more than corporate security, internal audits and law enforcement combined. Empowered, ethical employees are a wise executive’s best resource.

Siemens’ executives, post bribery scandal, said:
“It’s easy to write policies but you need to get to the hearts and minds of the people”.

In our lives and at work, conspiracies of silence are enormously damaging and all but universal: the office bully no one confronts; the sexual abuse people turn a blind eye to, the budget games where people skew numbers and exaggerate expectations; the board of directors that tacitly suppresses dissent.

The artful denial of a problem will not produce conviction. Results can only be brought about when we find the moral courage to commit to speaking out.
No news is NOT good news and Silence is NOT golden – we need to find our voices and Speak Out and Speak Up.

How can you create a high performing team?

What is it that will make your team high-performing; while others are merely average?

Your key ingredient to inspiring leadership within your team, who in turn inspire others is to build strong, trusting relationships.

Too many senior leaders mistakenly believe that they need to be smarter and more knowledgeable than their direct reports.

Helpful, yet wrong!

What you really need is to be genuinely fascinated by the talents, lives and personalities of your team members.

In that way you can tune into what genuinely motivates them, why they come to work and what will allow them to willingly donate their discretionary life energy.

So why don’t you get to know your team today as unique individuals with specific talents that only they have.

Warm regards Jonathan

Do you need a PEP talk?

I hope that you enjoy this uplifting video

http://www.ted.com/talks/kid_president_i_think_we_all_need_a_pep_talk.html

There is so much that we can learn from our very young children.
They are less constrained by anxiety and fear of failure when they are so young.

What goes wrong? By the time we become teenagers we are riddled with angst and exam worries!

Perhaps it’s time for us to regain our wonder, sense of fun and belief in what is possible?

Warm regards Jonathan