During this weekend’s episode, Is “Corporate Ethics” an Oxymoron?, panelists discussed everything that surrounds corporate business ethics and the breakdown of ethics in portions of corporate America in the past years. During the program, panelists discuss how the ethics of corporations will only be as strong as the ethics of the individuals that make up the organization. This is a fascinating point as it leads to questions regarding hiring, promoting and the overall leadership training of organizations. Tagging onto the question of corporate business ethics, the overarching question of ethics in general beg question.
In 2003, reporter Jayson Blair made national headlines for his lack of ethical reporting. He had covered stories for the New York Times, ranging from the D.C. sniper case to the rescue of Jessica Lynch. Unfortunately, he had both plagiarized and fabricated details of many of the stories he had written.
In instances like these we see how a young man rose to the top very quickly and was perhaps given more opportunity than he had earned. This begs one to question the speed of promotion in organizations. John Maxwell, leadership guru, often says, “Talent may take you to the top, but character will keep you there.” In instances like this and in circumstances such as the fall of Enron, we’ll find that statement to be true.
We’d love your feedback on this issue of corporate business ethics.
- What are the benefits of requiring character training and mentoring for new employees?
- Should there be checks and balances in place for promotion to ensure that character is being assessed as well as talent?
- If talent can take you to the top but then cause the downfall of your company once you are there, how does one safeguard from that?
We’d love your feedback as we discuss things that matter with people who care.
Photo Credit: Applied Corporate Governance