THE BLOG

Innamoratevi! Lessons on Ethical Leadership

06/11/2015 03:50 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2016

I recently found in my bookshelf the script book of The Tiger and the Snow, one of Roberto Benigni's fairly recent movies (2005) where he plays the role of an Italian professor and poet that goes to Baghdad, Iraq during the war to find her lover hospitalized there.

Apart from being a wonderful romantic story, the movie (and the book of the script, which I recommend if you wish to practice your Italian), tackles and opens up doors and thoughts about wars, suffering, poetry, dreams and the meaning of love, life and leadership.

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Movie scene from "The Tiger and the Snow" (2005)- Director: Roberto Benigni

Daily inspired by Arianna Huffington's tirelessness work in advocating for more sleep, more wonders and dreams, less data and more wisdom, she conveys a message of positive optimism and natural contagion to make change happen. By "knowing thyself," as Socrates used to say, you can connect with yourself, unleash your potential and be a transformational force of nature. As Mahatma Gandhi taught us about "us as being the change we wish to see in the world".

To find solutions and develop our human minds and spirits, an ethical behavior and shared leadership are indispensable. A study on "the impact of Ethical leadership on employee job performance" defines the concept of ethical leadership and identifies the transformational leader with four forms of behavior: inspirational motivation, individual consideration, idealized influence and intellectual stimulation. By stating that ethics must begin at the top, the author highlights that "ethical codes and ethical training" have little chance of success unless ethical actions and behaviors of top management are consistent with what they teach.

Actions, awareness, intellectual honesty, impartiality and integrity, fairness and concern for others are key principles that shape an ethical behavior in and out of the workplace.

In terms of job performance, the study shows the importance of ethical leadership in bringing about trust and commitment of employees in the carrying out of their tasks, thus increasing productivity, effectiveness and efficiencies, with a cost decrease due to lower turnovers, a more satisfied employee and a flourishing and happier company.

The Forbes list of companies making employees happier include Google, Facebook and Starbucks, which invest in their people, giving attention to develop and improve professional and social skills of their employees, and thus creating a positive social responsibility and organizational behavior culture where people can thrive, feeling they are valuable and in an environment where they can make an economic-social contribution for a bigger cause ( sticking to the values and mission of the organization they work for- increasing as a result their ethical-organizational-affective and normative commitment to their organization). Incentives, promotions, social and cultural activities, touristy excursions, community volunteering, welfare and sports programs, gastronomy work lunches, they all contribute to the well-rounded development of an employee: we all want to be part of an organization that stimulates us to be better people and use all our potentials to improve, learn, discover new things and be happier).

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IBM Corporate Volunteers Program

To keep the child and the vibrant curiosity alive in us, we need strong , ethical, committed and trustworthy leaders and managers that speak and behave in a fair, impartial and consistent way. If they are the example, they set the tone and we learn from them. If they are able to inspire us, make us dream, think out of the box and find alternative and innovative solutions to work-related problems, we are on the right track. We need visionary people, empathetic and valuing human beings before being employees. Leaders who empower us with the right tools to make us see our work as a challenging game to play. A challenging game where we should not forget to smile and where we should not take ourselves too seriously though. Where, as Roberto Benigni taught me when I was a kid, we should take life and work with a good sense of humor and as an invitation to poetry, love and solidarity, being Innamoratevi (Let's fall in love) the mantra of our days.

Watch the scene of Innamoratevi, a daily sauce of inspiration for me,
Let's fall in love with our job on a daily basis!

Keep dreaming and do not forget Federico Fellini's words: There is no end. There is no beginning; there is only the Passion of Life.

Ciao, a presto!
@GaiaParadiso