It’s the how, not the what.

People know what to do but they often struggle with the how.

The employee who is harassed by her supervisor knows she needs to report it but she struggles with how to do it without suffering more. The employee who can’t reach his sales target knows he can’t cheat but doesn’t see any other way around.

The ethical leader understands and gets ahead of this. She shares her commander’s intent with her team, makes it explicit that she wants to hear from them if she deviates from it, and points to HR or the hotline if subordinates do not feel comfortable speaking with her directly. And, whenever something bad happens in another part of the company (or in another company), she’ll take five minutes at the staff meeting and ask “how would we deal with this if it happened to us?”

There’s little value in telling people to do the right thing because they already know. It’s better to show them how to do it.

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