Ethics

How to Survive an Ethics Crisis

Ethics consultants are not hired when everything is hunky dory. They're different, and often more severe, than other corporate crises. An ethics crisis is about who you are as an organization and not just about specific actions that have gone wrong. But you can limit their damage.

The Real Co$t of Free Speech

Have CEOs essentially lost their first amendment rights?

The Biggest Ethical Mistakes Made by CEOs and How to Avoid Them

I was recently asked about the biggest ethical mistakes CEOs make. In 35 years as an ethics consultant, I have seen some doozies. After all, you only hire an ethics consultant if you face an ethical dilemma. And once an ethical mistake occurs, it is extremely hard to set things right with the public and media, who already may believe that companies routinely engage in unethical conduct. The truth is that most of these mistakes are entirely avoidable—if you are on the lookout for them. Here are the top 5 ethical mistakes I've seen made by CEOs.

Why H-P is a Poster Child for Dysfunctional Governance and Silicon Valley Incestuousness

Ray Lane will step down as chairman of Hewlett-Packard after a rocky two-and-a-half-year tenure. The surprise move is in addition to the surprise resignations of two other board directors, John Hammergren, CEO of McKesson, and G. Kennedy Thompson, former CEO of Wachovia, who nearly lost their seats at the March annual meeting.

How Will Wal-Mart’s Bribery Scandal Affect CEOs?

Wal-Mart's alleged FCPA violations are bound to bring about much legal fallout. Executives have gone to jail for violating the FCPA, and only time will tell what will happen to Wal-Mart's C-Suite. If your company does any business outside the U.S., it's important to follow this story and let Wal-Mart's missteps be a cautionary tale. Here's what you need to know.

Why Can’t Some CEOs Keep Their Trousers Zipped?

Brian Dunn, the former CEO of Best Buy, has now joined the ignominous ranks of CEOs who've allegedly had public affairs with employees and lost their jobs. What causes some CEOs to start to believe the rules don't apply to them? And is it really the affairs that get them fired?

Does Your Moral Intelligence Have Economic Consequences?

Every CEO likes to think he or she displays complete integrity as a leader. When investors or employees think otherwise there can be unwelcome valuation consequences.

Leaders Gone Bad: Why Power Turns to Misbehavior

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, David Sokol, Mark Hurd, Lee Farkas. These powerful business leaders have taken over the headlines because they chose to engage in abuses of power. With offenses ranging from bank fraud to sexual assault, one wonders why such smart people would risk their careers in such reckless and destructive ways. Harvard Business School professor Bill George explains the appeal of rule-breaking and why so many prominent leaders end up on the wrong side of the law.

Rebuilding Trust in the CEO

How can business leaders revive stakeholder confidence?

Leaders Should Manage for Values

Everyone knows that leadership involves values.  But many business leaders do not understand exactly how values relate to leadership.  That's not their fault.  It's...
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How A Former Accenture CEO Turned A Failing Leadership Into Growth

This former CEO's first year was a disaster until he shifted everyone's focus to create a customer-centric organization. What happened after that went directly to the bottom line.

What P&G Learned About Marketing From Elon Musk

While Tesla was moving ahead of the competition without spending a dime, P&G's marketing machine was watching closely.

How to Follow a Great Leader: Honeywell’s Darius Adamczyk Moves Forward

Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell International’s CEO since April, has a tough act to follow, but his priorities are optimistic and leave him lots of room for stamping his own legacy.

Meet the ‘New-Collar’ Workers in Manufacturing

Modern manufacturing no longer thinks in terms of white or blue collar—the workers it needs now are “new-collar”.