An executive coach approached me about a leadership challenge he faced and wanted a second opinion. This consultant was coaching a CEO who was struggling with a sensitive issue. The CEO learned that someone who worked for him for many years had committed some “questionable behaviors” that were on the wrong side of the ethical line. This CEO was not sure how he wanted to respond to this performance and discipline this long time, loyal member of his senior team.
The consultant asked me what I thought, how should the CEO manage this and how should he document this as a matter of performance, in the performance review?
What would you advise in such a situation?
It is important to be sure of the facts, to be confident that you have a good understanding of the situation and behaviors in question. If the allegations are true, then the CEO, in my opinion, has no recourse other than to dismiss the person in question.
“What about the years of loyal service to this CEO?” the other coach asked. “Shouldn’t that count for something and instead give this person a performance warning letter?”
Ethics and integrity are not performance issues; they are a condition of work.
You cannot discipline poor ethical judgement, in this case.
In my view, you must dismiss the person in question, respectfully, legally, yet clearly.
How are ethics and integrity addressed in your executive team?
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