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Moral intelligence is all about my moral compass and what I do to stay true to my moral obligations. Before I discuss about my moral intelligence, I would like to point out how my perception has changed since I enrolled for the MGMT 4500 class. Before I joined this class, the only time I could hear about morality and ethics was when my parents addressed me about the importance of growing up as a responsible child. Considering that it was from my parents, I did not consider it to be a very serious issue as it has turned out to be. However, this class has changed my perception and shown me that morality and ethics apply not only on the individual level but also to the big multinational organizations and the entire business fraternity. I have learnt that the decisions a manager makes could determine the future of his organization. In addition, the class gave me an opportunity to interact with students from different background and understand their ethical and moral considerations. The lecturers have also given me an opportunity to inquire more about issues that I doubted and be able to understand how my professors and fellow students felt about their moral and ethical values.
I consider the best way of learning to be through observation, and practical involvement. The assignments and group work activities the professors gave us have improved my understanding of moral and ethical obligations. Most of all, sharing with the class about my findings and listening to other students react to them has also been very encouraging. It has opened up my mind and improved my reasoning. In the beginning, I was not very comfortable with giving presentations about my findings. The class has also improved my presentation skills too. When I joined the class, my mind was focused only on excelling in my academics. However, I have learnt more than I expected. I now understand my emotional intelligence, self awareness and moral compass and I can coexist with people from any cultural background. However, it was not a smooth ride. For instance, the Moral Competency Inventory test was tougher than I expected. Nonetheless, I was able to think my way through the 40 inventories and 10 competencies and completed the test (Lennick & Kiel, 2007). I managed to score an average score of 75 which is not the best but it gave me the encouragement that my behavior is in line with beliefs and my expectations in life. I know I might not be the best equipped person in terms of moral understanding but I must admit the course has really changed my behavior and most important of all, my reasoning.
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The lessons I have taken from the course are going to be part of me forever. If I get the chance to lead an organization, I will also be able to make morally right decisions by considering the effect of my decisions on my co-workers, the environment and the society at large. For instance, I have leant that for us to establish a sustainable society, we should not subject diversity and nature functions to increased concentration of pollutants and other substances extracted from the earth. This would call for us to use the few resources we have sustainably because we should not compromise on the ability of the future generations to benefit from the same resources. I now understand that natural resources such as oil are nonrenewable. Therefore, the more we use oil the scarcer it becomes. The only way we could ensure that natural resources remain in plenty of supply is by avoiding overexertion. The same applies to other resources such as forests and minerals.
As Lennick & Kiel (2007) allege, the moral compass defines our values, interests, principles and beliefs. The course therefore gave me an understanding of the three major pillars that support my moral compass. To begin with, I now understand that I need to embrace the universal principles. For instance, I understand that values such as humility, integrity and responsibility are very instrumental in shaping me to a better person. Secondly, I am capable of identifying my core values which include inner peace, wisdom, open mindedness, spirituality, and making positive impact on the lives of other people. Based on my cultural background, I understand the importance of peace and harmony and respecting all people regardless of their race or age because we are all equal before God. Moreover, human beings should protect and conserve the environment because if we destroy it, its vengeance will be too much for humanity to bear. Most importantly, I have learnt that every person determines his destiny based on his beliefs and perception of life. If you believe that you are a failure, you will probably not succeed in life. It is therefore important for me to live with a positive attitude and encourage myself to work harder, taking every failure and mistake as an opportunity to improve where I went wrong.
One thing that I have not been able to improve so much and which I need to work on is standing strong by what I believe is right regardless of the oppositions that might arise. For instance, I have not been so good at telling my friends in the eye whenever they go wrong. I am the kind of person who likes to be loyal and impress my friends. Similarly, I have realized that I am not brave enough to correct my seniors when they go wrong. Moral intelligence requires that regardless of how senior an individual is, one should be able to let him know whenever he does something wrong and make him correct (Lennick & Kiel, 2007). For instance, if my employer wants me to conduct a corrupt deal that would otherwise bring the company good money, I should be brave enough and object even if it would cost me my job. Unfortunately, I tend to overlook such instances and protect my interests. Moral competency requires that I should be willing to confront an individual whenever he does something wrong and make him change. Accordingly, I should be capable of challenging the authorities when their actions are not right.
All these requirements have proven to be tough for me but I am working my level best to improve. Linneck & Kiel (2007) affirm that morally intelligent individual should report any cases of unethical conduct to the authority. This mostly applies at the work place where colleagues could come late to work or miss coming to work but as a good friend, you keep quiet and cover up for them. This according to the authors is wrong.
According to Trevino & Nelson (xxx), workers are a very strong tool in influencing their behaviors of their colleagues especially when they are caught up in ethical dilemmas. The lecture notes have demonstrated to me that employees should improve the ethical and moral standings at their workplaces rather than making them worse. The authors argue that most employers are good at coming up with rules and regulations or codes of conduct but they never obey them. They only expect these rules to be followed by their employees. Since management plays a great role in determining the employee’s ethical behavior, a good leader should be a role model to his employees. For instance, if the organizations code of conduct prohibits coming to work late or while under the influence of alcohol, this rule should apply to everyone in the organization. If the boss comes in an hour late and drunk, other employees will not see the need of abiding by the rules. It would also demoralize the employees because they would feel like their boss is not responsible.
Additionally, there is a difference between being a good leader and a good boss. A good leader listens to others and makes decisions in consideration of other people’s views. On the other hand, a boss would want to show the junior employees that he is the man in charge and harass them around. He might be feared but not respected. The class lectures have made me realize that I lacked ethical egoism. When I first joined the course, I thought by myself and stood by my own interest. To a large extent I used to make decisions based on what other people feel or might say. However, the course has taught me that any clever person should realize he has no obligation to others apart from those he assumes voluntarily. It is therefore upon me to accept my moral rules to promote my own interest.
From the lectures, I have come to understand that as much as the economy might have improved, there is so much inequality in the country; the rich get richer as the poor get poorer. Similarly, employees work for so long with no improvement in their wages. For instance, a worker might work for 10 years but still gets the same amount he used to get when he first joined the organization. Ideally, he does not improve his lifestyle because the prices of commodities keep rising. Working families are also squeezed in their participation of economic development. It becomes very difficult for them to maintain a balance between their families and work. A big chunk of the wages they get is spent on trying to sustain their families. This means that they live from hand to mouth because there is nothing left to save for future. They are also supposed to pay for taxes and health insurance from the same small amount.
Accordingly, some work for longer hours and yet they don’t get any pension funds or health insurance. The saving trend for such families is very poor. Generally, the trend is that the business community is more concerned with how much profit it makes and does not care about the interest of the employees. This is very unethical and immoral. For us to live in harmony, we should have the interest of our friends, families, neighbors, and employees at heart. It is very bad that an employer would take to the bank millions of dollars and live lavishly while his employees languish in poverty. I have also learnt that because of social inequality, the employees do not work at the best of their skills because they are not satisfied with the working conditions. They also have very little control over their lives because of the little wages they earn.
From my work experience, I have hidden the truth from the bosses on several occasions because of the fear of getting fired. However, from the course, I have come to understand that it was not entirely my fault after all. Most of the managers are very unapproachable and they do not give a chance to their employees to own up and ask for forgiveness. the best way to improve the moral intelligence of employees is by giving them chances to own up and improve on their mistakes. This gives them a feeling that they have room to improve. As Mark Twain once said, physical courage is so common but moral courage is so rare. It is therefore time that we changed things around and set a center state for employees to improve their moral courage.
Lennick & Fred (2010) that it is critical that organizations develop moral and ethical business climates to make their employees satisfied with their job. I used to think that a good working environment is that where the employees earn so much money. However, the course has demonstrated to me that job satisfaction is sometimes more important that the wages. Employees should have a chance to balance between work and family life for them to become more productive. However, if an employer wants to keep his employees over worked for him to make more profit, at one point the workers will get tired and leave for organizations where their interest will be respected.
I never knew about Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations. All I knew was about were labor laws which protected employees from harassment. Now I understand that no organizations should give leadership responsibility to an individual with known engagement in misconduct. This therefore means that if I want to lead an organization at one point in life, I should not be involved in activities of misconduct simply because am a junior employee. My actions will determine my career. However, the law also requires that organizations should have an appropriate disciplinary response defined and applied. For instance, if am accused of any wrong doing, I should be given a chance to defend myself before any decision is made. All these issues have prepared me to become a wiser manager in future.
From the lecture notes, I have also come to understand that even the managers of the most highly rated companies fail in making intelligent decisions. Companies like Tyco, Microsoft, big oil companies and Arthur Anderson among others have been involved in major scandals that have affected their reputation. I did not expect this, considering that companies like Microsoft and Enron are perceived to be successful companies. However, this has proven to me that even the top in the game are not as equipped as they should be and they need to change things around if they are to succeed in future. It is mandatory that every employee secures compliance not only with the company’s act but with the law.
I haven’t learnt that for an organization to improve its ethical values, it must train the employees on the same. This training program should include everyone. Sometimes bosses might feel like they are above common training programs but this is not the case. Regular training programs should update them on better leadership skills. The program should orientate everyone and include leadership development strategies. However, as the world changes, so does the leadership and management techniques. It is therefore recommended that the training programs are updated and refreshed regularly so that the company could fit in the competitive business world.
In conclusion, I would like to refer to the fact that in the lecture notes, it is indicated that this course would make the students wiser. I would like to confirm that so far, I am a different person and well equipped in terms of moral responsibility than before. I hope to improve even more with time as I put what I have learnt in class into practice. I also intend to influence my friends, colleagues and neighbors to become wiser in decision making and create a better society. I understand that it might not be easy as I think but I will not turn back.