Ethical leaders need more confidence in principles than in personalities. I was watching an older MSNBC program where they had a town meeting at Columbia University with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and of one of the students at Columbia asked Warren Buffett was this: can ethics be taught to leaders today in business? His response was very interesting, he said, “ethics come from the home, it doesn’t come from the classroom. Ethics and values are ingratiated into who we are from our beginning in whatever form our family took.” He then went on to say;” I really don’t think ethics can be taught; it just needs to be lived.” If ethics is to be truly lived in the corporate world, ethical leaders need to: • Be willing to have tolerance for ambiguity, exposure, and personal loss in order to instill the common good. • Have acceptance of deferred gratification in simple rewards. Leadership should never be about immediate personal gratification. • Take into consideration what others have thought and done before us. Discernment is a phrase that needs to have more weight in leadership today. Discerning possible consequences; discerning pros and cons; discerning what’s appropriate, what’s not; discerning what’s acceptable, what isn’t; discerning if it’s legal or not, is indicative of independence of thought. Take what has gone before us, see what we have, and then discern the lines between that connect them. • Understand that values don’t fluctuate; they are a constant and they are the foundation for the leaders’ persistence and determination. The ethical leader needs to have the ability to face difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or intimidated by consequences. In being ethical, not only do you need to discern and assess what needs to be done, but have the fortitude when necessary, to be able to deal with the consequences based on the foundation of those values.