When I started to focus on the morality of business and leadership in my research, I surveyed some past clients in my inner circle, for their definition of moral awareness. One of the most striking definitions I received was the following:
“Moral awareness is when one is in touch with our innate sense of morality and can feel the moral component of events. Someone who does not have moral awareness does not notice the moral cues provided to him by his psyche ……”
I believe that business culture may shy away from using the word “moral” because it usually implies some sense of spirituality or religion, which may not fit succinctly in the business world. However, recent events that have led our entire economy down a dangerous path, have forced many to dive deeper into what exactly is the problem. I believe part of the problem is that everyone wants to force or mandate ethical conduct….and you just can’t!
Even President Obama, when interviewed on Jay Leno (March 19, 2009) commented, when speaking of AIG and Merrill Lynch and their ‘payout of billions of dollars of bonuses, noted that these actions were actually legal.’ His point, I believe, was although these actions were legal, certainly they were not ethical or moral.
The problem is this: you can not mandate or enforce an innate sense of morality. However, we can create a corporate culture where acting in the most moral and ethical way, is the norm. Morally aware people will be attracted to these types of ‘high-road’ companies. The morally unaware will be the minority.
Like you, business ethics and ethical leadership expert, Frank Bucaro has seen the challenges and problems of corporate leadership, particularly over the past few years in regards to poor decision-making, SEC violations, and record breaking financial settlements in a number of different industries.
With over two decades of executive training, speaking, writing and with real life experiences, his view and approach to ethics in the workplace is uniquely different. He emphasizes that ethics is a moment-to-moment choice and has little to do with position, titles, personalities or education. Ethics is everybody’s responsibility from the top down.
His goal is to help organizations to:
a. Strengthen their ethics training initiatives in order to significantly decrease the odds of an ethical/compliance violation.
b. Energize, train and motivate employees to understand the value of consistent “high road” behavior as a business advantage.
c. Support individuals and thereby the organization by contributing to its success by quality, ongoing values based leadership development.
Frank is known for his very practical, slightly irreverent, yet somewhat humorous approach to ethics and leadership development. His conversational style and real life stories connect with his audience in a personal, intense and practical level.
Companies such as Bayer Healthcare, BP, ReMax International, EnMax Energy, Danone, etc. have partnered with Frank when they want to proactively stress the message, tools, insights and practical applications that good ethics IS good for business!