As I am traveling through CCU’s on-line “Leadership and Management “ class, I am forced to self analyze and self reflect. Something I have learned and will implement in my life is to be aware. I am ashamed to say that I knew nothing about the Enron downfall. What a scandal and how many lives were destroyed because of a few “bad apples” that was! The thing that baffles me is that the people who were in the High Executive positions are still in leadership positions today. I have learned that I must be aware of where my money is going as well as the character of the business establishments in which I am investing money.
Learning about what leadership is and the character traits that ethical leaders possess will help me to discern between a crook and a great leader. The “leader” of Enron may have demonstrated leadership characteristics, but essentially his leadership skills were driven by money and greed. Because of his love of money, his “empire” crumbled and those who were working for him also crumbled. It is my responsibility to ensure the company I may end up working for is not based off of greed and the love of money, but of a solid foundation where people matter and are the backbone of the company.
I am a firm believer in forgiving and turning the other cheek. I am also a firm believer in using wisdom. How is it that the people who served jail time for fraud and essentially stealing money are now in leadership positions again? I have done research about where the Ex-Enron executives are today, and almost all of them are motivational speakers or are financial advisors. They are still CEOs of their own companies. The thing that is hard for me to swallow is that while these ex-Enron executives are still out there making their millions, the people who have been impacted by their actions are now suffering dearly. How is it that people are putting their hopes and dreams into the very people who destroyed thousands of lives by their greedy motivations?
I read a few life-altering stories regarding those who had been impacted by these people. One man had cancer and ended up selling his house as well as everything he owned to pay for the medical bills. He ended up dying in a “borrowed bed” because he had to sell all he owned for bills that he thought he would not have at his age. He put his life savings in what he thought was a safe-place. Investing everything he worked so hard for so many years. He and many others had to start all over again due to the fraudulent actions of a few greedy people (Houston Chronicle, 2013).
How are these people being compensated? What have the ex-Enron leaders done for those who chose to put their livelihoods in their hands? Nothing. They are starting all over again at an age where they should be retiring. Yet the people who ultimately are responsible for others misfortunes still come out on top. Is it because they were able to keep the millions of dollars they stole from the innocent people who were doing their due diligence of going to work each and every day trying to provide for their families?
The lesson for me in all of this is to be aware of where my money is going, and to whom I am working for. I am not sure there would have been a way for the lower echelon of people to have ever known the character of the people in the positions of the higher echelons of business (such as the ex-executives of Enron), but I for one will surely know exactly who my retirement savings is going to, as well as how a business that I am considering investing in was established, and what the character is of the owners of the companies. I have learned to be aware, and I hope to remember this lesson for years to come.
Partington, R. (2011, Dec 01). The Enron cast: where are they now. Retrieved Mar 24, 2014, from
Financial News: www.efinancialnews.com