Principled Leadership

By Mary Ellen Eagan

 Simmons College Seal licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simmons_College_Seal.svg#/media/File:Simmons_College_Seal.svg


Simmons College Seal licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

This week, I had the great honor of receiving the Simmons College School of Management’s Rappaport Award as part of the Dean’s Graduate Award Ceremony and Reception. Most people outside of Boston are unfamiliar with Simmons, which has a very interesting history:  John Simmons, a wealthy clothing manufacturer in Boston, founded the college in 1899, based on the belief that women ought to live independently by offering a Liberal Arts education for undergraduate women to integrate into professional work experience.

Since 1973, the Simmons School of Management (SOM) has pursued a unique mission of educating women to be exceptional leaders. SOM rigorously educates women for success in management while also helping them acquire the knowledge, experience and confidence needed to express a more contemporary and collaborative form of workplace leadership. It is still the only accredited MBA program exclusively for women.

During the Awards Program, I was moved by the collective commitment of the graduating business school students to the following Principled Leadership Oath. I agree with Dean Minehan’s comments that financial and economic scandals would probably largely be avoided if all leaders made such commitments.

Principled Leadership Oath

As a principal leader I recognize my role in society. My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone. My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my organization, today and tomorrow. 

Therefore I promise that:

  • I will manage with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my organization or society.
  • I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my organization.
  • I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.
  • I will respect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my organization, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.
  • I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.
  • I will report the performance and risks of my organization accurately and honestly.
  • I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity. 

In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding the standards. 

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

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