Written by  2016-05-22


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This week Pope Francis apologised for many things – He sated ““Before beginning my catechesis,…I would like–in the name of the Church–to ask your forgiveness for the scandals which have occurred recently, both in Rome and at the Vatican.”Among others,

he was apologising for the behaviour of Monsignor Krysztof Olaf Charamsa, who just last week publicised the fact that he was gay, and had a lover. The Monsignor was subsequently stripped of his duties. Can a Catholics priest be gay? How does he even know? Has he not taken an oath of celibacy? But the pertinent question is, Why does the Pope have to apologise? He apologised because the Buck Stops with him.

Last week’s article was on the idea that the person who is in charge takes responsibility for the actions or inactions of those he leads. Kudos to the Pope. Another thought that this escapade brings to mind, is the fact that as employees or members of an organisation, there are behaviours that should not be practiced by us. Mr Charasma was a priest in the Catholic Church. A church, that by law and doctrine expects its clergy to remain single and celibate. A church that by law and doctrine (for now) condemns same sex relationships. For him to have been breaking his vows by having a sexual relationship was bad, to amplify his transgression he states that it was with a man. Then to top it all of, he calls a press conference to tell the world about the fact that he was totally disrespecting the ethos of the church! Really!

Doctors take the Hippocratic oath. They declare that they will not use their skills to harm other, but to heal them. It is therefore wrong of them to take lives or harm others. In Lesotho they may be stricken from the Register and be prohibited from practicing medicine. The Law society of Lesotho may expel a member who is not acting within the principles set forth. The Lesotho Institute of Accountants can also remove an accountant from its record of practicing accountants. These bodies monitor the activities of their professional fraternity and make sure they act accordingly.

But what of the unmonitored professions? I want to believe that they are monitored by Sechaba and gossip. An environmentalist who throws non biodegradable trash out the car window, does not inspire confidence in his understanding of his work. A chef or cook who wears dirty clothing does not inspire a customer to eat food prepared in his kitchen.

It is important that a person’s behaviour in the public arena does not disparage his commitment to the organisation he works for, or to his profession. So while a person can get up to anything he wants to during his time off, he must know that his behaviour has an impact on the bottom line of the organisation that he works for.

A few years ago, a conversation took place on google+ where a South African tourist criticized the Police of Lesotho. It was quite well read and comments that came from as far as Europe and America gave me the impression that we lost a few tourists. It was bad enough that this tourist wrote this article, but what got me more upset was the Basotho who agreed and added on to these opinions. They made the situation worse, and underlined the writers opinion. The meaning received was – Do not visit Lesotho, even locals agree.

Any employer would be upset if an employee acted in a manner that blotted the company’s reputation. In fact companies today make that a part of the contract of employment, or include it in their code of conduct. When we go to the cosmetic section of a department store, we expect to find ladies that are all made up and smell nice. We don’t want to buy if they are sweating and have a bad smell. We lose confidence if the manager of a car hire company is driving a car that has problems every other week. Wont his car break down on me if I hire it? And if a bankers desk is messy to look at, don’t I lose confidence in his bank’s ability to take care of my money?

Basotho ba heso, remember that you start selling your products or services even before the customer decides they need them. So act your company’s products. You start representing the efficiency and effectiveness of your organisation in your daily behaviour. Respect your workplace.


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