The news has been full of Members of Parliament’s expenses this week. The publication of itemised expenses claims with receipts has been great fun for the newspapers as they construct lifestyles based on charges for swimming pool maintenance, ‘gourmet’ dog food and ladies underwear. For the MPs concerned it’s been embarrassing.
The MPs could feel that they are being unfairly victimised in trying to do a difficult job, living in two locations and trying to balance parliamentary, constituency and family life to the best of their ability within the rules.
Unfortunately it seems that the public doesn’t see it that way. People are expressing anger not at MPs salaries, or at the rules that allow them to claim allowances, but at the way in which MPs have claimed what seemed like unreasonable expenses and as a group worked hard to prevent the public from knowing what the money was spent on.
It seems it’s not the MPs honesty that the public sees as lacking, but their integrity. People don’t like to feel that people they trust would do something which they see as being unfair and underhand. People in leadership positions are held to a high standard of behaviour and those who fail to meet that standard can quickly lose the trust and respect of their followers.
We see the same thing happening in organisations when senior managers cancel all non-urgent expenditure whilst continuing to utilise their travel budget to the max, or when leaders announce pay freezes for all employees and pay themselves a bonus. Leadership means living up to the standards that other people aspire to, whether it’s easy or not. Leaders who do this gain respect, trust and loyalty, all vitally important ingredients of a successful team. To find out more about how Predaptive can help your leadership team succeed contact us.