Characteristics of Unethical Behavior

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Bernard Ebbers had what it takes to be a good leader. He had the trust and respect of his team. When a leader builds trust and respect within a team, it will show. Once team members feel secure in sharing their opinions without fear of being judgement or retribution, can openly and freely collaborate on projects and know that their leader has their best interest at heart, produces a highly productive work force. This is what Mr. Ebbers portrayed himself to be.

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A leader is only effective as his team. Building trusts takes time. Bernard Ebbers understood that people trust actions and not words. If a leader doesn’t model his leadership style, Team member could lose trust. A leader must display behavior that that he/she expect his team to follow. A leader shouldn’t ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. For example, a leader must lead by example. Showing your team, you are one of them and being responsible for outcomes whether positive or negative.

Deviant behavior violates organization norms. It is a general decline in civility. Ebbers profess hatred for bureaucracies and his love for reduction of staffs in new acquisitions paints picture. Critics said the take overs of most companies did not make business sense and Worldcom did realized savings. There were questions about his capabilities and priorities. He was a man of conflicting personality. He expressed disdain and impatience to those that questioned the practices of Worldcom.

He used rewards to influence his managers. He personally gave top managers loans of the record to buy back company stocks and power became concentrated in the top echelon of Worldcom. He kept his promise and stuck to his commitments. No one trust those who don’t keep promises. He stuck to his commitment to make Worldcom the biggest telecommunications company in the world. He criticized European telecommunications players that he claimed was lagging behind North America.

He didn’t listen, ask questions consistently. He would have been a better leader had he kept quiet during discussion and listen to other advice. Consistency is key to leadership. Consistency of actions, behaviors, moods and expectations bring about good results. A good leader provides his management team with unwavering support that they can rely on and a set of rules and expectations that will guide the team through good and bad times.

Success of a team is of greater concern than those of a leader. To get the best out of your team, show them that you put them ahead of your own ambitions. Let them feel a part of the team. Give them a seat at the table in achieving your ambitions. Give credit to where it is due. Punish when necessary. This was not Ebbers style of leadership. He had his own ambitions and dragged his team along. He had essentially bought his senior management team. They were sucking up to him. Success of a team is the leader success as well.

Bernard was more of a corporate dictator than a leader. He was pretending to be cutting costs by increasing the heat in the summer and decreasing the temperature in the winter to on energy bill. While at the same time purchasing 164,000-acre ranch and 20,000 cattle. He never asked for feed backs on his actions, how he could help his management team be more productive, improve the work environment or how to better communicate. A good leader asks for feedbacks, what process can he change for the team to be more effective. Constructive feedbacks help improve a leader’s ability to do a better job.

Ebbers was unethical in his approach to leadership at Worldcom. A good leader as discussed earlier, lead by example. If a leader wants his management team to display good leadership qualities, he must display them first. For example, you want your team to go the extra mile, you as leader must do it first. Showing your team, you are one of them and their equal in being responsible for outcomes good or bad breed respect, honor and trust.

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Characteristics of Unethical Behavior. (2019, Apr 05). Retrieved July 2, 2022 , from
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