The Week In Ethics Blog

How Owning Purpose Tames the Unexpected

The Week in Ethics

How Owning Purpose Tames the Unexpected

Friday, December 30, 2016

Benjamin Franklin was brilliant, but in 1789 he forgot to include an essential element in his famous remark, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” He should have said “nothing can be certain except death, taxes AND dealing with the unexpected.” We use religion and spirituality to deal […]

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What We Can Learn About Optimism & Leadership from Simon Sinek

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

“A good leader doesn’t only inspire us to have confidence in what they can do. A great leader inspires us to have confidence in what we can do.”  Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration (Simon Sinek, 2016) The adage “what we focus on, we get more of” is as true in leadership as anything. And, conversely, […]

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Wells Fargo’s Next Move? 10 Suggestions

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Update: See my 12/10/16 Business Ethics column on Where Wells Fargo Goes From Here . Update: In October 2016 Timothy Sloan replaced Chairman/CEO John Stumpf, becoming CEO and President. The chairman role was split and given to independent lead director Stephen Sanger. Update: September 27, 2016: Wells Fargo Independent directors issued a statement  they will […]

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Women Leaders Galvanize Detroit Around Justice

Sunday, November 8, 2015

When things fall apart for lack of human and financial resources, becoming overwhelming, the key that enables leaders to transform the impossible to solvable is a compelling sense of greater purpose that is shared. An illustration is the story of how Kym Worthy, Prosecutor of Wayne County, Michigan raised, and is a catalyst in efforts […]

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The Way Forward from Public Shaming

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Students in a middle school painted words important to them on rocks placed under a tree. “Patience,” “courage,” “strength,” and “peace” were scattered under the limbs. However the lineup of a yellow heart, “tolerance” and “healing” held my eye during a walk in 2013; they were an antidote to the lack of humanity words as […]

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Project 22

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day in the United States is more than remembrance; it is also a catalyst for a discussion that needs to occur throughout the year. As a day, it is about respect and remembrance honoring those who’ve died in wars or military actions as well as remembering those dead who were also veterans. However, it […]

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How Market Basket’s Board Misread Employee Engagement

Saturday, July 26, 2014

In a battle of cousin against cousin, how important is the culture of a family owned business?  Thousands of voices among the 25,000 employees and the customers who shop at the 71 New England locations of Market Basket (a supermarket chain with $4 billion in annual sales) have made clear in their rallies and online […]

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Marathon Runners and Lessons of Resilience

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The 2014 Boston Marathon grew into a symbol. It wasn’t just a race; it was about facing down hate and destruction with community and courage. It showed how runners, spectators, individuals and families affected by the 2013 bombing at the Marathon finish line handled tragedy and came to embody and teach resilience. It is also […]

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Marathon Runners and Lessons of Resilience

The 2014 Boston Marathon grew into a symbol. It wasn’t just a race; it was about facing down hate and destruction with community and courage. It showed how runners, spectators, individuals and families affected by the 2013 bombing at the Marathon finish line handled tragedy and came to embody and teach resilience. It is also […]

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GM’s New CEO

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Update: March 27, 2014, GM CEO Mary Barra will testify before Congress next week, answering questions about consumer safety and the process (a decade before she became CEO) of how GM handled faulty ignitions without recalling cars impacted (which resulted in at least 12 deaths). NYT piece speculating about what in GM culture might have […]

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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 […]

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Gillette’s Leadership, the Backlash and Possibility

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

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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… Leading in this still-fragile environment has never been more challenging… Uniting an organization’s culture to a brand promise is essential to success. The greatest asset any organization has is its reputation. Gael O’Brien brings a wealth of experience counseling leaders in building and restoring trust in their organizations.

Keith Darcy
Senior Advisor, Deloitte
former Executive Director ECOA