The Week In Ethics Blog

2012 Leadership Wins and Losses

The Week in Ethics

2012 Leadership Wins and Losses

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One of the most powerful lessons from 2012 is how leaders use their influence. Consider some examples of career sky dives from three men highly regarded in their field who failed to use their influence in ways to keep trust with  their constituencies: former CIA Director David Petraeus (an affair with his biographer); former Penn […]

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NRA Leadership, Culture of Violence, and the Self-Seal

Sunday, December 23, 2012

We will know in a few months whether National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre’s response to the murders of first graders, teachers and the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut speaks for the majority of its 4 million members. LaPierre blames the murders on gun restrictions and America’s culture of violence — […]

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Changing a Culture of Violence

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Twenty first-graders, six and seven years of age, were  murdered December 14, 2012 along with their school principal, school psychologist and four teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The 20-year old gunman also killed his mother. From gang violence in Chicago, to the gunman in Aurora (CO) mowing down people in a […]

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Petraeus’ Derailment Invites Focus on the Heart of Leadership

Friday, November 16, 2012

Too many assumptions are made about leaders once they reach the highest levels of their organization: that they are at the top of their game, operating out professional clarity, and have themselves figured out. Ivy league educated, storied-career David Petraeus is a poignant illustration. As director of the CIA, and one of the most acclaimed […]

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How "Family" Backfired at Penn State

Monday, November 5, 2012

When leaders refer to their organizations as a “family,” it can be dangerous when they don’t also have a full understanding of the implications and expectations of that metaphor. While presumably their reference is to a functional family, the question is… what kind of unremitting vigilance is required to spot and address the dysfunctional elements […]

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Why UCI is Wrong and Armstrong Can’t be "Forgotten"

Monday, October 22, 2012

What International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid said at a news conference October 22,2012 revealed more about UCI’s culture than it said about Armstrong: ”Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling. This is a landmark day for cycling.” Granted UCI (cycling governing body) has an embarrassment […]

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Disney, RAN and the Rainforest

Monday, October 15, 2012

When companies are criticized by activist groups for social responsibility failings it can be hard to determine what the degree of the problem is from media coverage and press releases. The ultimate resolution may represent sweeping change in corporate policies that would not have happened at all or as quickly but for the activist group’s […]

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Arbitrage, When There is Never Enough

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How much is enough? That was a central question John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, posed several years ago about Wall Street. It is also an underlying question in Arbitrage, Nicholas Jarecki’s recently released film. Richard Gere plays Richard Miller, a billionaire hedge fund manager whose greater cause is seeing himself as the orbit […]

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Seriously? No Qualified Women for European Central Bank Board

Saturday, September 8, 2012

When it comes to issues like gender diversity on corporate boards and in C-Suites, we’ve seen glacial progress. It has led some countries to impose or threaten quotas.  While laws force progress, so also can the voice of a leader using his or her position and personal authority to hold others accountable. Sharon Bowles, chairwoman […]

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Accountability and the NCAA

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who holds a governing body accountable for clear, consistent, equitable administration of its rules, and when merited, punishment that doesn’t exceed its mission or oversight authority? If you are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and can shut down athletic programs, take away scholarships, impose fines, and require consent monitors among other things, accountability is […]

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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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Transparent & authentic, insightful, seasoned with organizational knowledge, purposeful & engaging, Gael O’Brien takes her audiences on a journey of ethical exploration that is thought-provoking. She creates the needed disturbance that invites personal and professional growth. Gael carries the noble voice of humanity’s hopefulness.

Russell Williams
Chief Inspirational Officer, The Ethical Edge