Dealing with whistleblowers in the organisation

Many organisations do not consider whether they have enough measures in place to ensure a speak-up culture. Encouraging employees to blow the whistle safely requires the leadership to consider whether they have created an environment in which their employees feel safe. A number of interventions are needed to guard against a culture of silence.

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Outsourced morality

It is incumbent on each of us to constantly evaluate whether our moral compass is still pointing to our true north. We need to continually ask ourselves whether our actions are informed by our own beliefs that we carefully considered, before we concluded that they are fit to be used in our moral compass. How certain are we that we are not just believing what we are because those around us believe it? Or, that we are believing what we are because those who we have crowned with a halo believe it? Applying one’s own mind is paramount if we were to avoid the temptation of outsourcing our morality to others.

Fear can be your friend or your enemy

Whether we like it or not, we were not designed to be fearless. Fear is an emotional response connected to a basic need we all have – to feel safe. In the evolution of the human brain, this had been encoded for a very good reason. Our fear response is designed to trigger an action from us. If it’s a lion, we run. If we were to convince ourselves that we should not show fear and stand our ground, the stand we take is probably going to be immaterial to a starving lion. His fear that you may also be a threat, would most certainly be overridden by his fear of starving to death. Human beings are in any event rather defenceless without our modern weapons.

Know your rhythm

It is important that we work with our rhythm instead of against it. That is a sure way to increase our productivity. In the last number of months, I have started to notice that the number one issue I am dealing with among my coachees is burnout. Often that is because of a lack of understanding of what their rhythm is. We look after ourselves as leaders because we need to give those we lead the best version of ourselves. Selfcare is part of our leadership responsibility.

2 Responses

  1. The Johannesburg Bar (in fact all GCB Constituent Bars) of which I have been a member for many years and served as Chair of its Ethics Committee, Transformation Committee & Bar Council, need this talk. I’ve heard of women who’ve been victimised by men but won’t come forward for fear of further victimisation. It seems endemic.
    But the people you need to talk to is not the Bar but the women in it.

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