When compliance is complicit!…

  On July 1,2014, in the Risk and Compliance Journal, there was an article on the BNPE Bank scandal. Below is a short excerpt. “BNP Paribas SA prodded, sidelined and co-opted its compliance staff as the bank broke U.S. sanctions and hid massive Iran, Sudan and Cuba transactions from U.S. authorities, according to the bank’s…

Don’t you really train your people to be ”whistleblowers?”

There has been much written and commented on about whistleblowers, lawsuits, etc that I’m just a little confused. When a leader trains one’s employees in ethics and values, doesn’t the leader then expect his/her people to embody those values in thought and behavior? Yet when something that is questionable happens, and no leader is listens…

The “Just do it” ethics process.

I was in a workshop recently when I learned about a General in the US Army that got tired of his people always coming to him for a final decision on almost everything. He came up with four questions to answer when each is faced with a decision. Each person need to ask and answer…

Why do people try to “justify” their behavior?

I’m always amazed at what lengths some people go, to “justify” their behavior even though they know deep down inside that it was wrong or questionable at best. Why? Do they really think that what they did was o.k. or appropriate? People are trying to “get away” with something by rationalizing why they made that…

Power, Leadership and Ethics, Oh My!!

Power is an interesting concept in that: The more you have, the more you want; It’s addictive in that if I can make you do something once, I’ll make you do it again. The wrong type of power can distort, cheapen and destroy morale, productivity and ethics! There are two types of power for leaders…

What is it about the human condition that fosters unethical behavior?

There has been $6.7 billion in improper Medicare payments, Banks have been fined billions of $ for fraud, etc., Cheating seems to be a norm in schools and business. The California Realtor Association is now publishing the names and photos of those realtors who have broken the association’s code of ethics and who knows what…

Is your ethics training a band aid approach to an artery problem : Part II

Think about this. You use a band aid for a scratch or a minor cut as the “wound” is not that serious and eventually you remove the band aid and all is well. No skills, No training in putting on a band aid, i.e. no real techniques and only minimal knowledge are needed. Anyone can…

Two of the biggest ethical challenges businesses face today are…….

                        1.       How get the multiple generations “on the same page” regarding ethics and ethical behavior? This is the first time in American history we have now 5 generations in the workplace at the same time. We have Boomers, Xers,  Yers, Millenials and now the Digital Natives(those born from 1990). Each of these generations…

Is there such a thing as “situational” ethics?

I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me: “doesn’t the situation determine the ethics? I was stunned! So here’s a definition that I found on situational ethics. Situational ethics = a system of ethics in which moral judgments are thought to depend on the context in which they are to be made,…

A leader must be a moralist….

I found an article in doing research, written in 1985 by Vice Admiral James Stockdale, one of the Navy’s most decorated officers in its history. In the essay titled “Trail by Fire” Stockdale reflect on leadership. Here’s what he said: “To lead under duress, one must be a moralist. The leader must be a thinker,…