462 executives who were asked, "What characteristics
are needed to be an effective leader today?" 56
percent ranked ethical behavior as an important
characteristic, followed by sound judgment (51%) and
being adaptable/flexible (47%).
American Management Association, New York, NY
behavior, in which people deliberately intend to harm
themselves or others, springs from, and is reinforced
by, destructive and painful mind states such as fear,
greed, anger and jealously. Ethical behavior, on the
other hand, enhances the well-being of everyone
because it comes from, and reinforces, motives and
emotions such as love, joy, generosity and
Ethical cultures are
the result of diligent effort--frequent, scheduled
conversations between leaders and employees about what
the standards of your company really are according to
Laura Hartman, a professor at DePaul
A biennial survey of
the nonprofit Ethics Resource Center found 25% of
nearly 2,000 U.S. employees said they had observed
their colleagues or their companies lying to
customers, suppliers, workers or the public--up from
19% in 2005. The industries in which people are most
likely to bend the truth: hospitality and food (with
34% of employees observing falsehoods), arts,
entertainment and recreation (also 34%), and
ethically vulnerable is your organization?
Just go around and
ask people what
the core values
are that define your company. You may be surprised at
the variety of the answers.
you have to set the standard yourself, constantly
keeping your actions above reproach. Talk through
hypothetical scenarios with the staff so that they'll
know what to do when they come up against an ethical
dilemma and you're not around.
Knowing what is
right is absolutely critical to personal and business
ethics. Yet, ethics only happens when good beliefs
lead to good behaviors. Without the action part, all
you have are good intentions.
an ethical action test for 'rightness' before
1. Is it
2. Does it comply
with my/our rules and guidelines?
3. Is it in sync
with my personal and our organizational
4. Will I be
comfortable and guilt-free if I do it?
5. Does it match my
commitments and promised guarantees?
6. Would I do it to
my family or friends?
7. Would I be
perfectly okay with someone doing it to me?
8. Would the most
ethical person I know do it?
Most executives are
hired based upon their technical skills and experience
and fired due to their lack of ethical
If you are an executive who is or expects to be in a
leadership capacity, you are well advised to seek a
A leadership coach
can help you personally develop from where you are
today toward ethical leadership behavior by becoming
more self-aware. Moving from an "egocentric" state to
a "community-centric and world-centric" state can help
you understand what others need and how you can give
it to them.
The percentage of
employees who report having trust and confidence in
senior management increased to 51 percent in 2004, up
from 44 percent in 2002, according to a survey of
nearly 13,000 workers. The percentage of employees who
believe the information they receive from management
also increased, from 27 percent in 2002 to 50 percent
Wyatt Worldwide, Bethesda, MD
you putting the Law
to work for you?
marketplace pressures will frequently bump up against
spiritual values. Perhaps, the most important of
spiritual values is the 'law
Put simply, "Love is Law, Law is Love." This amounts
to the same thing as "the gift of giving" without the
"hope of reward or pay," or serving others.
'law of love' is identified in many ways and cultures,
It's the golden rule
of Christianity, "Do unto others as you want them to
do unto you."
The silver rule of
Confucianism, "Don't do to others as you don't want
them to do to you."
practice, Wayne Baker's bestseller,
Success Through Social
defines this law of love in the workplace as
The law of
reciprocity is not what can best be described as
"transactional reciprocity." Baker says that, "Many
people conceive of their business dealings as spot
market exchanges--value given for value received,
period. Nothing more, nothing less. This tit-for-tat
mode of operation can produce success, but it doesn't
invoke the power of reciprocity and so fails to yield
Baker explains, "The
lesson is that we cannot pursue the power of
reciprocity. When we try to invoke reciprocity
directly, we lose sight of the reason for it: helping
others. Paradoxically, it is in helping others without
expecting reciprocity in return that we invoke the
power of reciprocity. The path to reciprocity is
indirect: reciprocity ensues from the social capital
built by making contributions to others."
pursuit of reciprocity fails, just like the pursuit of
happiness. Acts of contribution, big and small, build
your fund of social capital, creating a vast network
of reciprocity. And so those who help you may not be
those you help. The help you receive may come from
distant corners of your network."
self-help books click on: be
conscious of your default
should I do with my
meaning of life
Experiment Demonstrates the Law
marriage of brain science and economics, answers the
question, "Why does anyone trust anyone?" in the
Researchers ran an
experiment in which they created a two-person game. To
start, player 1 got $10. If that player kept the
money, player 2 also got $10 and the game ended. But
if player 1 chose to let player 2 take a turn, then
player 2 faced a choice: take home $40 and leave
nothing for player 1, or take $25 and leave $15 for
About half the time,
finds economist Kevin McCabe and colleagues at George
Mason University in Fairfax, VA, player 1 chooses to
let player 2 into the game, foregoing a sure $10. In
response, nearly three-quarters of the player 2s give
up the $40, rewarding player 1's trust by splitting
the money $25 to $15.
magnetic resonance imaging ("fMRI") of the volunteers'
brain shows that trust is marked by high activity in
two brain regions, the researchers reported. Area 10
seems to be involved in delaying gratification, which
tends to increase one's final reward. Area 8 figures
out what other minds are thinking, in this case
registering that the other player is trying to
maximize gain through reciprocity. Some people, as the
experiment shows, seem wired to delay gratification
and act in a mutually beneficial way.
B. Cialdini, author of "The Psychology of
Persuasion" (William Morrow), says, "One of the
most potent of the weapons of influence around us is
the rule of reciprocation. The rule says that we
should try to repay, in kind, what another person has
For the First Time in Human History, It's Our
psychologist and psychiatrist Roger Walsh, author of
Wiley & Sons), tells us that for the first time in
human history every single one of our global problems
is human-created. Every one is a reflection of our
individual and collective choices and behavior. And
this means that the state of the world is a reflection
of the state of our minds."
"Our world is in
grave trouble, we all know this. Our world is in
grave, grave trouble, but our world also rests in good
hands, because, actually, it rests in yours."
A group of
business and thought leaders have created the
Compliance and Ethics Group
(OCEG) to establish best practices and standards to
help businesses reduce corporate and investor risk.
More information is available at www.oceg.org
your executives need some help in building ethical
leadership capability? Can they express their
understanding and insights in contribution and service
As we go into
ourselves, we can go more effectively out into the
world---and---as we go out into the world, we go
deeper into ourselves. For help in this process of
self-discovery, get a coach.
coach John G. Agno
knows that sometimes our thoughts aren't crystal
clear and we can be diverted from our goals. Agno's
job is to coach people to greater awareness, purpose,
competency and well-being, which often translates into
greater compensation, job satisfaction and better use
of our skills and abilities. More business owners,
executives and professionals are hiring coaches to
help them lead and make better decisions.
Effective Leadership Skills
happens in a series of interactive
that pull people toward becoming comfortable with
the language of personal responsibility and
That is why
leadership development is not an event. It is a
process of participating in respectful conversations
where the leader recognizes his or her own feelings
and those of others in building safe and trusting
For human beings,
feeling deeply is synonymous with being