What Is the Principle Moral Obligation of a Leader?

On March 17, 2014 Tom Peters sent out his weekly quote: 

Tom’s TIB* #1: Your principal moral obligation as a leader is to develop the skillset, ‘soft’ and ‘hard,’ of every one of the people in your charge (temporary as well as semi-permanent) to the maximum extent of your abilities. The good news: This is also the #1 mid- to long-term … profit maximization strategy!” 

*This I Believe 

Is this what you believe? Is this the “principal moral obligation” of leadership? Is this more important than making sure that the organization one leads does the right thing? Is it more important on a moral level than insuring that as we make progress happen we do no harm, or as little harm as possible?

Skills are important, but are they a moral imperative? Hitler had many skills. He was a very effective public speaker. He understood how to appeal to the fear and greed in people. He had great skills at organizing people and institutions. He knew how to negotiate with others in a way that achieved his aims. Many of the other villains of history shared skills like that. Was that moral?

Is the important thing not what skills you have, but how you use them?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

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