“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” —Dolly Parton
This issue is focused on the 4 I’s—information, ideas, intelligence and innovation. The root of the concept comes from business but perhaps lacks one important aspect—a fifth “I”—ideals.
Ideals—ethics, principles, standards, morals—are absolutely integral. Without this, who cares about the rest? I would go so far as to argue that there can’t be good balance within an organization without the fifth “I.”
Ideals/ethics is the application of values to behavior and can apply to all aspects of a business—from the boardroom, to sales, to accounting. “Ethics goes beyond the legal requirements for a company and is, therefore, about discretionary decisions and behavior guided by values. Business ethics is relevant both to the conduct of individuals and to the conduct of the organization as a whole,” according to the London-based Institute of Business Ethics.
With a rapid, ever-changing landscape of the 4 I’s (along with its cousin the 5th I), businesses of all types are constantly evaluating, tweaking, learning and re-evaluating business practices of all kinds—everything from hiring practices and funding mechanisms to social media guidelines. It is expected in this global marketplace that to stay ahead, one must “push the envelope” to stay on the forefront. While that is absolutely true, the really good organizations realize the importance and the fundamental nuances between the 5 I’s and can appreciate all they have to offer the leaders of an organization.
This issue has countless examples from academia, government, business and nonprofits that most certainly possess the 4 I’s but have also fully embraced the 5th. They are motivated and guided by the fundamental concept that business can be done right, all the while being successful.
That’s why they are in this issue. They get it! They live it! They embody it!
Although I am not an expert in business strategy or ethics, Dolly Parton’s words, in my opinion, are dead-on. Read on to be inspired by those who are excellent leaders and who really get it. Read on to learn from those who are creating a legacy that inspires others to more—to learn more, to do more and to become more.
All the best,