Friday, October 15, 2004
6:47:00 PM EDT

Leading With Values


"Honesty is the cornerstone of character. The honest man or woman seeks not merely to avoid criminal or illegal acts, but to be scrupulously fair, upright, fearless in both action and expression." -- B.C. Forbes


Peter F. Drucker said "management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." One of the defining characteristics that separates nonprofit from for-profit organizations -- at least in the public mind -- is the focus on core values. Nonprofits are often held to a higher standard of conduct than for-profits. Why? Because their mission is seen to create and sustain the moral and ethical standards of our culture -- to build a better world, and to build it in better ways. In that light the following self-test may be useful for current or prospective board members.


Commitment beyond self

Am I faithful to the public service mission of the USCF in fulfilling my responsibilities?

Do I participate in volunteer and charitable giving opportunities offered to me as a member of this organization?

Do I demonstrate a sense of cooperation for the benefit of the whole organization?

Do I strive for excellence in fulfilling my USCF responsibilities?


Obedience to the laws

Do I know and follow existing federal, state, and local laws as well as bylaws and rules of the USCF?

Do I raise questions when I'm not sure about laws or rules but wonder whether laws might apply?


Commitment beyond the law

Can I articulate my organization's mission and recognize my role in achieving this mission?

Do I fully understand my legal and leadership responsibilities as a member of a governing board?

Do I follow not only the rules of law, but also the spirit of the law?

Do I have concern not only with the legality but also the appropriateness of our actions?


Commitment to public good

In USCF operations, am I true to the USCF standards put forward in public announcements?

Am I responsive to public inquiries about USCF activities and finances?

Do I work at USCF partly as a way of making a personal contribution of time and effort to the public good?


Respect for the worth and dignity of individuals

In my own actions, do I always see other human beings as individuals who bring something of value to our workplace and to our discussions?

Do I always recognize that every other person has his or her own right to personal dignity as well as due process and do I respect that in all of my actions?


Tolerance, diversity, and social justice

Do I fully recognize that if we are to deal effectively with current and future challenges that we need the special skills, knowledge, and per­spectives of a broad variety of individuals with differing attitudes, out­looks, and cultural backgrounds?

When I encounter personal conflict, do I work to channel that energy in constructive ways?

Do I strive to recognize and understand differences in communications styles between genders and between cultural backgrounds?

Do I communicate (verbally and nonverbally) the equal value of all per­sons, even though they may differ in appearance, style, customs, talent, and technical skill?


Accountability to the public

Am I familiar with USCF operations and activities in my area of responsibil­ity? Do I take initiative to learn what I do not know?

Do I act responsibly and responsively to all inquiries about the USCF?

Do I know to whom to refer matters about which I have no knowledge? If not, do I take initiative to find out?


Openness and honesty

Do I routinely take an open and honest position?

Am I meticulously accurate in collecting and reporting information?

Do I disclose to the USCF any personal conflicts of interest that might affect the work that I do for the USCF?


Prudent application of resources

Am I familiar with, and follow, USCF personnel and travel policies?

Do I act always to conserve USCF resources?

Do I stay within assigned budgets?

Do I always refrain from temptations to use USCF resources and supplies for personal use?


* Staff Ethics Audit Workbook by INDEPENDENT SECTOR