The Week In Ethics Blog

Leading by Example Makes Change Real

The Week in Ethics

Paul O'Neil - Leading by Example

Leading by Example Makes Change Real

Friday, August 14, 2020

Photo: Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill appears before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 2001. Wikimedia Commons. The pandemic’s challenges escalate pressures on company leadership at every level. Leaders who ask questions, listen and genuinely value employees make it easier for employees to do their best work. The most powerful tool of leadership is leading […]

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Finding Inspiration in a Pandemic

Finding Inspiration in a Pandemic

Monday, April 20, 2020

Inspiration in a crisis comes from vulnerability and resilience. COVID-19 has increased leaders’ challenges in creating more engagement. Finding inspiration in a pandemic is an opportunity for leaders to rally their troops and help each other get through these difficult times. Leaders Reduce Harm What we’re experiencing highlights the importance of community and how we […]

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making ethics real makes leadership real

Making Ethics Real Makes Leadership Real

Friday, August 2, 2019

What is the key to effective leadership? The answer is ethics. However, if this doesn’t seem an easy sell…stay with it. Making ethics real makes leadership real. We’ll look at four ways to bring this home. First, some context. Ethical Failures When ethics isn’t a key driver in an organization, the fallout from ethical lapses […]

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gillette ad

Gillette’s Leadership, the Backlash and Possibility

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gillette released this week a short film “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” Some criticize it as an attack on men; others disagree and see it as inspiring and hopeful. My take is the under two-minute video illustrates another Fortune 500 company’s courage and leadership to try and use the power of its brand […]

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2018 Leadership Lessons

2018 Leadership Lessons

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

It isn’t just leaders’ abilities and experience that give them confidence. Authentic confidence means leaders realize that as smart as they are, their view or approach might be wrong. And what they do about that either fuels ethical leadership or spawns disaster. A significant cause of leadership failure in 2018, as in the past, was […]

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Thanksgiving 2018, What Creates Customer Loyalty

Friday, November 16, 2018

Too often we forget what creates customer loyalty: what it is about a business and its leaders or owners that resonate with a community and causes them to take action when needed. In a small town in Orange County California, customers are having a chance to demonstrate how a community responds to a business owner […]

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Can Civility Be Saved? Should It Be?

Friday, September 14, 2018

by Gael O’Brien (Reprinted with permission from Business Ethics Magazine 8/26/18) An abundance of research on incivility points to the mountain we need to scale. Incivility (which includes behavior or language that is rude, disrespectful, offensive or demeaning) is on the rise. It’s also contagious – which is why it’s called “the incivility bug” – […]

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It’s Not Altruism. Just Good Leadership

Monday, May 28, 2018

Reprinted with permission from my 5/26/18 column in Business Ethics Magazine   Leaders who believe they have a responsibility to create conditions so that employees can flourish aren’t altruists. They’re just good leaders equally committed to maximizing financial success. They know the two are connected. They also know engagement occurs when employees feel accepted and […]

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making ethics real makes leadership real

Leaders and Culture

Monday, March 5, 2018

We know that fostering the right culture promotes engagement, nurtures innovation and fuels both purpose and profit. The key word here is “right” culture. It is about the desire to pursue what enables people and financial results to flourish together. According to the Fortune Magazine commentary on the Best Companies to Work For 2018 list […]

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Finding Inspiration in a Pandemic

Fraternities, Charlie Rose and the Hope of Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving invites our being more aware of others’ impact on us. How it feels to be seen, heard and valued for who we are. When we think about gratitude, it is people who generally first come to mind: those who have made a positive difference in our lives. Events this year have shown what happens […]

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Leading by Example Makes Change Real

Photo: Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill appears before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 2001. Wikimedia Commons. The pandemic’s challenges escalate pressures on company leadership at every level. Leaders who ask questions, listen and genuinely value employees make it easier for employees to do their best work. The most powerful tool of leadership is leading […]

read on »
Finding Inspiration in a Pandemic

Inspiration in a crisis comes from vulnerability and resilience. COVID-19 has increased leaders’ challenges in creating more engagement. Finding inspiration in a pandemic is an opportunity for leaders to rally their troops and help each other get through these difficult times. Leaders Reduce Harm What we’re experiencing highlights the importance of community and how we […]

read on »
Making Ethics Real Makes Leadership Real

What is the key to effective leadership? The answer is ethics. However, if this doesn’t seem an easy sell…stay with it. Making ethics real makes leadership real. We’ll look at four ways to bring this home. First, some context. Ethical Failures When ethics isn’t a key driver in an organization, the fallout from ethical lapses […]

read on »

Gael O’Brien was the Keynote Speaker at the Second Annual Isenberg Ethics Competition at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst….Gael was both informative and inspiring. She challenged her audience to engage in self-reflection, while also providing the participants with many practical strategies for approaching business decision-making….

Attorney Jennifer F. Merton
Associate Chair & Law Lecturer Coordinator
Management Department, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst