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Leading with Integrity

Leading with Integrity

Eros Sharma
Adjunct Instructor of Leadership
Jack Welch College of Business, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg

Imagine you are a financial services firm entitled to charge your clients a certain commission specified in formal bank-client contractual documentation. However, no one in your financial services market charges that commission to clients. Clients can easily leave you for a competitor that charges 0 commissions on all transactions. Hence, it’s just not done or wise to do. However, quarterly commission targets need to be met. As a manager of your financial services firm meeting commission targets implies a substantial bonus in variable pay. Thus the manager applies the commission and gets the bonus. Has this manager led with integrity or acted on the desire to benefit personally?

As an Adjunct Instructor of Leadership at the Jack Welch College of Business in Luxembourg, I teach an MBA course titled “Leading and Influencing with Integrity.” It is our mission to embed integrity onto leaders. Integrity is a personal quality that encompasses behaviors demonstrative of strong ethics, moral principles, and values. As Donald Cressey suggested in 1951, for embezzlement to occur, the following three precursors must be present simultaneously: Perceived pressure from a non-shareable problem, perceived opportunity for trust violation, and finally rationalization which is the justification an individual may use to commit fraud. In its simplest form, if how you rationalize and make decisions is unethical due to your very personal view of what is right, wrong, and acceptable to do, then there is a chance you will exercise fraud or embezzlement leading to lack of leadership integrity. Maybe Carlos Ghosn can tell us how come he thought the Château de Versailles was making a gift of €50,000 to him on his wedding. The Château de Versailles of course had no intention to hand over such a gift and charged Renault directly Mr. Ghosn’s wedding expense. This went unnoticed until Renault investigated.

When we have examples of senior leaders exercising lack of integrity, this may have a direct impact on the behaviors and existence of the entire organization. How do we therefore prepare existing and future leaders to act with more integrity? Lack of leadership integrity leads to lack of trust amongst all stakeholder groups including investors, clients, and employees.

According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, the US dropped from the “Truster” category of nations in 2017 to the “Distruster” category in 2018 with a 23 point drop. Across NGOs, Business, Government, and Media sectors, trust isn’t being recovered. Out of these four sectors, the Government sector saw the largest decline in trust with a 14 point loss when compared to 2017 results. To make matters worse, the report highlights how 7 in 10 people worry about fake news being used as a weapon. To put it in other terms: “Who you’re going to trust?”  Well, good news, the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer mentions that CEOs are regaining credibility. Why are CEOs faring better in credibility?

According to a Strategy& PwC report on CEO success and ethics,

Boards of directors, institutional investors, governments and the media are holding chief executive officers to a far higher level of accountability for ethical lapses than in the past. Globally, CEO dismissals for ethical lapses increased from 3.9% of all successions in 2007-2011 to 5.3% in 2012-2016—a 36% increase.

This higher level of dismissals is not as a result of more unethical conduct but directly related to more accountability and oversight. Thus at this stage I ask, what is the future of leadership trust and integrity?
The Future of Trust and Integrity Report from the World Economic Forum clearly lays out a framework to act on the need to enhance trust and integrity. The report details actions to follow at the institutional, behavioral, and technological dimensions.

While new legal requirements at the institutional level can reinforce integrity, knowledge and institutional capacity to implement compliance changes will be important.

At the behavioral level, it is as important to reward compliant behavior as it is to call out bad practices. Think of this one in a country where bribery is normal and you don’t get things done unless you reward the corrupt ecosystem. How do you break this habit? Corporations, regulators, and educators such as universities should clearly lay out what is and isn’t acceptable and the respective consequences. It is as important to highlight cases of leaders following and complying with the rules as it is to call out cases where rules are not being followed. I find this to be a brilliant effort to change behaviors and to break icecaps of corruption.

Finally, e-governance, blockchain, open data, and big data analytics can certainly help with corruption and transparency. By making technology a trusted source of relevant data, corruption will have less of a chance to emerge due to the availability of the same information for all relevant stakeholders.

Leading with integrity is paramount to address the challenges society faces with financial crises, the political landscape, climate change, and societal movements led by younger generations. Jack Welch School of Business in Luxembourg has organized a “Leading with Integrity” conference and panel on March 13 in Luxembourg to discuss how we can lead with integrity in various settings. We are welcoming industry leaders from the private sector, from government, European institutions, international financial institutions, human resources directors, MBA alumni and the larger public to attend.

Registrations are being accepted through the following link containing panelist and logistical information.
www.shu.lu/conferenceregistration/

Eros Sharma, Adjunct Instructor of Leadership & Management, Jack Welch College of Business SHU Luxembourg
Eros Sharma, M.S.
Human Capital Services Consultant
Ashridge, UK.
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“SHU Helped Me Challenge Myself”

Imagine a situation where you are settled with a great paid job and vacations on time; then you decide to venture into your own business. Sound scary and challenging?

To stay ahead or a change in career; to get a promotion, these are some of the main goals for pursuing an MBA. But Lene Pedersen, decided to take a distinctive turn in her career to become an entrepreneur.

Lene was Head of Marketing & Communication at CIP Group while she was pursuing her MBA at SHU. After graduating in 2013, Lene took a chance and started a new journey as an entrepreneur.

Today Lene is the Owner and Managing Director of LeneLife, a service that gives customers a balanced lifestyle based on a healthy body, soul and mind. Lene shares that she is happy to be in a business which helps define herself.

Watch to learn more about her experience at SHU!

http://www.sacredheart.edu/aboutshu/news/newsstories/2016/december/standard--poors-upgrades-sacred-heart-university-to-a-rating-.html

Standard & Poor’s Upgrades Sacred Heart University to A Rating

Standard & Poor’s has raised Sacred Heart University’s long-term rating to A from BBB+.

“In the midst of all the other exciting news of Sacred Heart’s extraordinary successes comes this news of a jump of two steps in our rating,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “S&P’s report noted our growing enrollment and diverse geographic footprint as reasons for our success.”

“Enrollment continued to grow into fall 2016 as the university expands both its undergraduate and graduate programs,” S&P’s report said.

In recent years, the University’s student population has grown to 5,400 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate students. That growth has also led to physical growth that is unprecedented in the University’s 54-year history.

Within the last two years, the University has completed and outgrown its Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center and finished its Jorge Bergoglio residence hall. The former houses the Jack Welch College of Business and School of Communication & Media Arts, and is a unique, world-class facility offering unparalleled resources for students, including media production studios, trading floor and interactive laboratories designed to advance the skills and knowledge needed for the global marketplace. The latter houses more than 200 sophomore students in two-bedroom (four-person) pods with a shared bathroom. Other amenities include a multipurpose fitness facility, a video game room for fun, classes and competitive video game club activities and lounges and conference rooms for socialization and learning outside the classroom.

Currently under construction is the University’s Center for Healthcare Education, Upper Quad Residential Village and a new building for WSHU Public Radio and the University’s Department of Public Safety. The Center for Healthcare Education will house the Colleges of Health Professions and Nursing and will offer students state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom facilities; enhanced athletic training, human performance and motion analysis labs; a life and sport analysis clinic; and a multipurpose amphitheater.

The Upper Quad, which was the former home of Jewish Senior Services, will eventually house approximately 750 students in an apartment-like setting and will offer dining options, including a Jersey-style old-fashioned diner.

The new radio station building will have two full studios and four editing suites, on-air-equipped control room studios and a large community room. The upper level will provide offices for the station’s production managers and engineers, administrative offices, a conference room and a roof deck for breakout space and fundraisers. The building also will become the new home for SHU’s Public Safety department, featuring a high-tech communication and dispatch center and many other amenities that will enhance the department’s service needs, responsibilities and requirements.

In addition, Sacred Heart last year purchased the 150-acre Great River Golf Course on the Housatonic River in Milford/Orange. Located just 11 miles away from SHU’s main campus, Great River Golf Club is a signature Tommy Fazio-designed facility that is now home to SHU’s men’s and women’s D-1 golf teams and will be the future home of a new hospitality program. The course, which garnered significant awards after it opened in 2001, retains its number four position in Golf Magazine’s 2016-2017 listing of the “Best Golf Courses You Can Play in Connecticut.”

Later this week, Sacred Heart will take ownership of the former GE global headquarters, which sits on 66 acres less than a mile from the University’s main campus in Fairfield. This transformational acquisition includes about 550,000 square feet for current and future use and enough space to meet the University’s needs for the foreseeable future. The University plans to use the site as an innovation campus, including providing incubator space that would allow students, in conjunction with investors and area businesses, to develop their creative ideas for new products and programs.

“We are pleased with the increase in our financial resources and all that has allowed us to do for our students,” said Michael Kinney, senior vice president for Finance & Administration at Sacred Heart. “To have S&P validate our strong financial profile with this rating increase is very gratifying.”

Only three private colleges in Connecticut (Yale, Wesleyan and Trinity) have an A rating or higher from Standard & Poor’s.

Thanksgiving Festivities Served With Big Alumni News!

New Board-New Presidency-New Plans!

November 24, 2016—Jakob’s House in Clausen saw a spectacular evening as SHU students and alumni came out to celebrate Thanksgiving at the SHU Alumni Networking Drink. The event was more than just a platform for networking as SHU announced the new 2017-2018 Board Members of the SHU Luxembourg Alumni Association.

Meet the new SHU Luxembourg Alumni Association Board Members:

Larissa Best (MBA ’15), President
Aurélie Maire (MBA’15), Board Member
Chris Marcilla (MBA’08), Board Member

The newly appointed SHU Luxembourg Alumni Association will implement a fresh policy of a rotating presidency. Each year a different member of the board will take the reigns as president in an effort to diversify and implement the varying approaches each member brings to the table. Larissa Best (MBA ’15) will take on the role as President for the 2017-2018 calendar year. Best, along with Board Members, Aurélie Maire and Chris Marcilla, will propose and moderate assorted activities to help facilitate the relationships between SHU students and the SHULA. Part of Thursday’s announcement included a proposal to organize various subcommittees within the SHULA organization.

JOIN A SHULA SUBCOMMITTEE TODAY!
CONTACT: ALEWIS@SHU.LU

 

From Professional to Student-Intern and Back Again!

Full Circle: How One Student’s Journey to Luxembourg for Love, Brought Him to SHU

Edward Henry took a leap of faith when he moved to Luxembourg for his [now] fiancée in 2014—leaving behind his well-established career in the U.S.A.—to start fresh in the European Capital of Luxembourg.

Starting from scratch in a multilingual and multicultural country like Luxembourg is not a cakewalk.

Edward’s only hope for making a professional transition, he says, was to go back to being a student and pursue an MBA at the Sacred Heart University Jack Welch College of Business in Luxembourg. The MBA with internship program at SHU Lux was the perfect fit. Known for being an ‘opportunity provider’ for its students, SHU opened its doors to Edward, and brought to light his opportunities in the Luxembourg job market.

And the rest is history…

After graduating in 2015, Edward Henry, MBA, is now an Internal Auditor at Grohe Group.

SHU caught up with Edward for an exclusive interview about his unique journey to Luxembourg:

How did you first hear about the MBA with internship program in SHU?
How did you find life as a student in Luxembourg?
What was your journey like, from being a student/intern to a full-time employee?
Any changes in your personal/professional life while you were pursuing the MBA?
How did the MBA help to build your career in Luxembourg?

Here’s what Edward had to say…