After executives are finished handing out employee manuals
and annual reports and are finished making speeches about
corporate results and values, the factor that drives the
culture and subsequently ethical behavior of a firm is the
personal example set by each member of senior management.
If executives verbally “trash” customers, employees will
feel that they have implied permission to do the same
about clients and even other employees.
If the leaders “pad” client invoices or their own expense
reports, employees will feel that they have tacit approval
to do similar things to customers as well as “pad” their
own expense reports, if not just outright steal from the
Despite what is put in writing or said, it is personal
examples that everyone follows. Set a good one!