Rules cannot Take the Place of Character


Albert camus put it succinctly "integrity has no need of rules"

Alan Greenspan once said "Rules cannot take the place of character," and he was right.
In some organisations, most managers focus on the rules and neglect the character. Left on his own, the average human can manipulate any given rules and no one would find him out. He can make his compliance so visible and receive generous commendations from superiors. yet, behind the public show of compliance is a routine law breaker, who has mastered the art of concealing his crime in favour of the more visible art of intelligent compliance.
Such persons lack character which is needed for a deeper trust and a long term organisational productivity... Unfortunately, they are not always found out until a damage is done. Society also encourage dishonesty by punishing act voluntary disclosure of wrongdoing and making a scapegoat out of honest disclosure while rewarding those who are masters of conditional compliance. The victims eventually learn to be dishonest as a way of earning good rating. They soon join their colleagues in mastering art of compliance without character. Such people care only about their career advancement, or business interest while embracing organisational goal halfheartedly.
Companies and organisations need to begin to encourage those who relate with them to develop positive character rather than placing strict emphasis on the rules. In the long run, people with character and positive attitude tend to deliver more than those who are strictly obeying order and have firm resolve not to do more than obey order and execute instruction. The later are innovation killers, more often slowing down productivity if not altogether reducing it.
I like the way Stephen M. R. Covey put it, "only as corporations focus on trust and integrity, rather than compliance, will they really be able to promote true organisational credibility and trust."
Do you care about your long term organisational goal and stronger commitment of your people to the goal? invest in your people's trust and character. any smart crook can break the rule and cover his track, only men of integrity and character give their best whether you are watching or out of sight... Albert camus put it succinctly "integrity has no need of rules"

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