I was recently asked to speak at PMI – Bangladesh Chapter. PMI is the Project Management Institute.
From it’s Wikipedia page, “The PMI provides services including the development of standards, research, education, publication, networking-opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and providing accreditation in project management.”
It’s important to not just know what business you’re in but what type of business you want to have or you might have to ask yourself why you’re in it at all.
When I was asked to speak my first desired topic was leadership. I mean that’s what they taught us in the Marines and if I thought I would leave anything behind it would be a few lessons learned from some of my all too often remembered mistakes from the past (some not so long ago!).
Leadership as a topic was taken.
Ethics and character would most likely be what my Marine Corps community would want me to share and discuss.
Obligations to the stakeholders, our organization, our STAFF, definitely the vendors but what about our beneficiaries and recipients? We owe them transparency. We owe them the ability to stand by the many promises they’ve heard in the past and are sure to hear in the future. How does one develop a sterling reputation in a world where corruption and moral decay are the currency of the realm? It’s noteworthy that to be a straight shooter in this world and wait in line without paying the bribe, not short-cutting your way through the process with a kickback or hiring police to do one thing or another. When you live in the United States it’s one thing but in fragile democracies and emerging autocracies it’s a bit more challenging.
Easy for me to say. I’m a Westerner, an expat. I was raised in a society were many of these concepts are sometimes taken for granted but when you’re placed in an environment where you have to make choices for the benefit of your project and organization and to stay on track you might notice where the short-cuts are. Those short-cuts do nothing less than erode the governing principles that go into rule of law, transparent process and good and valued leadership.
When you combine this witch’s brew of compromise into your organization you’ve plotted a downward trajectory that breeds low morale, inefficiency, cliques and contempt between colleagues. It’s bad for your bottom line if you thought your proposed and actual budget would be reconciled cleanly.
This section should honestly call for various chapters within it that subscribe to how ethical behavior can and should influence the decision making within your organization not just for it’s own sake but also because it’s the right thing to do.