Morally flexible CEOs

When working towards goals, making decisions that are constrained by our principles is what makes each person unique. Those constraints are different for everyone.

For one person, they may not be willing to move their family to take a job that pays more money because they want their daughter to be in the same school until graduation.

For another person, they may not be willing to take a job that has them travel a certain amount because it takes them away from family too much.

Finally, for the last person, they may be so motivated by money and status that there is nothing they will constrain themselves with to get it.

In the biggest companies in the world, where thousands of executives may have dreams of climbing into the C-suite, do we wonder why their is a connotation of the CEOs having no morals? When you do anything that you can to get to the top, you’re not going to behave great while there.

Beyond that, people tend to take a worldview of, “This is how I worked, so everyone else can too.” Except society only works with all kinds of principles out there.

Consider the group full of only laid back types willing to go do anything anyone else wants. They may never go do anything at all. They are all waiting for someone else to recommend something. It may take a type in that group who selfishly says, “I want to…”

When the world gets too imbalanced in one way or the other it tends to shift. These shifts happen over decades, so only the people paying attention see them. Morally flexible may improve the odds that gets someone to the C-suite of a public company today, but I have a feeling you’ll see companies led by more people of principle in the future because as more companies embrace fully remote work, that removes constraints of people who won’t move for a job.

More constraints will be lifted off those who have morals, and in the future companies will even start to differentiate based on morals, like whether to spy on employees at home or not. Having strong, positive principles will become more valuable when it comes to people wanting to work for you as competition for more jobs increases with less reliance on geography.

It’s going to take decades to see it, but the gears are beginning to turn today.