Just because someone is competent in business does not automatically mean he or she is ethical.  We all remember too many business scandals to deny that truth.

We also remember the outcry from the public that business schools needed to place a fresh emphasis on ethics.  Fortunately, over the last 20 years many schools responded to that outcry.

When I did my MBA (2009), I was very gratified to see that conflicts of interest, ethics, ethical dilemmas, and morality were laced throughout our discussions, assignments, papers, and research projects.  In every single case study or other major paper I wrote, I was required to include a section entitled, “Ethical Dilemmas.”  In that section I was expected to demonstrate I had fully analyzed all moral, ethical, and relational dimensions of the situation.  My solutions could not merely be business savvy; they had to be ethically defensible.

Going through that experience was richly rewarding to me for two reasons:

1). It reinforced my own intrinsic, personal commitment to a high ethical standard in all dimensions of my life.

2). It inspired me to meditate on the broader and deeper dimensions of ethical issues than I ever had in the past.  I grew deeper in my understanding and appreciation of complex ethical issues.

My observation is most MBA programs nowadays take a similar approach.  This is very encouraging.  The vital issue is that MBAs must not only be concerned for the “sell” of business, but also for the “soul” of business.

scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″
style=”border:none; width:450px; height:80px”>


Is effortless ethics an oxymoron?

Effort is required for ethics to survive and thrive.  Of course, this comes much easier to some people than others.  Some people were raised under conditions and influences that predisposed them to difficulties in this area.  Other people were raised under conditions and influences that predisposed them to great successes in this area.  Some folks just seem to have a strong moral compass while others seem to lack it.

Although effortless ethics may be an oxymoron, it seems to me that when you do possess that strong moral compass, it takes no effort to execute your ethics.  You do so simply because you know it is the right thing to do.  (Albeit, you may struggle with certain ethical dilemmas, but that is a subject for another day.)  Nevertheless, precisely because executing your ethics is the right thing to do, you often face opposition from those who do not hold a high ethical standard.  That opposition will demand a corresponding effort.

Your effort is not to execute your ethics; your effort is to engage the oppositional forces successfully.  Now that presents a whole new set of “opportunities,” doesn’t it?

scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″
style=”border:none; width:450px; height:80px”>


Sleeping on the job?  You’re fired!

That’s an old one, isn’t it?  Maybe too old.

Most of us have read about the studies concerning sleeping on the job and the numerous benefits to all parties.  Hitting the pillow at strategic times throughout the workday brings a powerful refresher.  The employee becomes more creative and productive, benefiting both the organization and the customer.  The power nap is in.  Some companies have already embraced the practice by providing nap rooms in quiet areas.

Sleeping reboots the brain, refreshes the thinking, and informs the conscious with the subconscious, often resulting in better decisions.  We’ve all used the response, “let me sleep on it,” in considering certain decisions.  Whether the job is physical, mental, or both, a strategic nap during a workday lull can work wonders.

Unfortunately, our classic American mindset strongly inoculates us against the very thought of sleeping on the job.  And thus we trudge on, convincing ourselves we are doing the noble, productive, right thing, when in reality we are often making more mistakes and even putting ourselves and other people at risk.  You do the cost/benefit analysis on that one!

How long will it be until the siesta mindset replaces the workaholic mindset in America?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But I say the sooner the better.  Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not advocating we become slothful.  I am advocating we work smarter by working holistically, and holistically means we constantly consider the whole condition of our body and mind.

I would be interested in hearing from people for whom the siesta workplace has been a welcomed success story.  I would also like to hear from those who may have had a very different outcome.  And what about those who may have had a bit of a back-and-forth experience in trying to implement the policy?

On that note, I think I will wrap this one up.  I’ve been working hard, and I’m going to catch a few Z’s.


Christine Lagarde is the head of the International Monetary Fund.  No small leadership task especially given the ongoing international economic crises.  Lagarde began her duties in the wake of the sex scandal of her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.


Lagarde is not an economist.  Leadership does not automatically mean you are the technical expert or that you have all the answers.  To some degree, Lagarde was in the right place at the right time.  As Christopher Dickey declares, “She was, and is, one of those leaders who are created by the crises of the times” (“The Truth Talker” Newsweek, January 30, 2012, p. 34).


But it was more than that.  She brought certain essential, broader skills to the table.  As Dickey explains, “Her greatest skills, according to those who work closely with her, are her ability to listen, to assess, to pull together a strong team, and to get the best out of a tough situation” (p. 32).


Indeed, regardless of a leader’s technical knowledge, or lack thereof, those certain essential, broader skills are what empower the leader to lead.  The technical knowledge is nice, but that alone doesn’t mean you are a leader.


How is your leadership doing these days?  Are you up for a crisis or two?  Learn to embrace the crises.  They create your leadership opportunities, provided you bring those certain essential, broader skills with you.


As every good CEO knows, constantly watching return on investment is crucial to the organization’s success.  Proctor and Gamble’s CEO Bob McDonald announced workforce reductions to the tune of 1,600 employees in nonmanufacturing and marketing jobs.


McDonald does not plan to eliminate spending on advertising and marketing.  Rather, he is simply recognizing the benefit of social media to companies that tap its potential wisely.


I believe this is a good decision.  The power of social media is here to stay.  The companies that capitalize on it will do so to their enhanced success.  The ones that don’t will live to regret it . .  if they live.


You can pay for all your advertising and marketing, or you can rely on social media to do it all, or you can execute a combined approach.  The wisdom required by the leadership of each company will be knowing exactly where to strike that balance.

My Great Web page