Not I don't mean the drinking bar, but the legal Bar. When Chief Justice of Victoria Marilyn Warren recently appointed 21 new Senior Counsel to the Victorian Bar she gave some words of advice (Australian Financial Review December 7, 2012, p33). It is brilliant advice, and something which I think business leaders, political leaders in particular, and Association leaders should heed.
- You have been universally recognised as a person of the utmost integrity. Maintain your reputation.
- Appear in cases or give advice in matters that warrant the involvement of senior counsel. There is an expectation underlying your appointment that you are needed for the more complex and difficult matters to which you bring your intellectual acumen and experience.
- You are a leader of the bar and should do that very thing that the description connotes; that is, lead.
- Judges in trials and appeals will turn to you with the full expectation that as a leader of the bar you will always assist the court and acknowledge your paramount duty to the court.
I think that is simply brilliant and both simple and brilliant.
I need hardly say if these four points of the value compass were used as a health check with a scale of 1 to 10 then our political "leaders" over the last 20 years would rate a -1. They have been and continue to be a self-serving bunch of sycophants on all sides of politics and it's the likes of this clear cut guidance which hammers home that point with a sickening truth.
If some our our Association leaders e.g. the Australian Dental Association which endorses TV ads (in return for funds) which warn kids and parents off eating fruit and fruit drinks, took this as a wake-up call and at least tried for a semblance of social responsibility then we're all be better off.
And as for business, to be frank I think they do a better job at all this than the two aforementioned groups, but they would do well to pin this to the front of every leadership meeting and check-in against it. For business I would suggest that there is also one other important value or trait to be monitored at each such meeting - that of being authentic.
Such succinct and compelling guidance for new incumbents! Well done Marilyn Warren.