Diagram showing figures pulling a heavy weight; the "leader" is pulling with the figures and the "boss" is directing the figures to pull

Leaders are role models, whether they want the responsibility or not.

As such, leaders who champion strong ethical behavior will more likely have employees who value and practice ethical behavior in the workplace and beyond. Leaders are not only shaping the company’s future—they are shaping lives of their employees, customers and society.

Examples

Service that fits

North Wales Running Co. thrives thanks to focus on customer experience, company culture, and community. For Scott Tantino, running isn’t…

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Keeping businesses accountable

With more than a century of experience under its belt, Better Business Bureau (BBB) still remains as committed as ever…

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Martin Katz: Beauty beyond the diamond

Celebrity jeweler creates a loyal following through his jewels and his commitment to doing good. Let’s take a trip back…

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The crisis of leadership – and a new way forward

What should modern leadership look like? Entrepreneur and former Icelandic presidential candidate Halla Tómasdóttir thinks global leaders need to change…

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Talking ethics: Lead by example in all aspects of business

The owners of a Chicago juice company find success by marketing and leading with integrity. Angela and Anthony Maicki, the…

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How ethics and fitness go hand in hand

The owners of AAY Fitness & Nutrition stay true to their ideals as they grow their small business. For Elaine…

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Profit’s not always the point

You might not expect the chief operating officer of a major global corporation to look too far beyond either the…

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In a position of trust

A reputation for ethics can open doors for a business. Here's how one company maintains a position of trust. This…

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Holding out for a hero

Businesses Need To Nurture Leaders Who Know The Right Thing To Do — And Do It Companies need to cultivate…

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Practical Guidance

Do your customers trust your business?

Five "gestures of respect" may determine whether they do or not In the fall of 2015, as an ethnographer who helps organizations understand how their audiences see the world, I was asked by Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) to examine how consumers think about interactions with businesses. Ultimately, the goal was to define what a better business is and to garner best practices that businesses can follow to be deemed noteworthy in the eyes of the consumer. My research would end up complementing research CBBB conducted separately on what it means to be a better business. To gain an…

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Ethical leadership, part II: Best practices

Psychological research provides guidance as to how leaders can create a workplace culture that encourages ethical behavior by employees.

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Ethical leadership, part I: Perilous at the top

The moral example set by leaders has a major impact on the behavior of their subordinates, both good and bad. Despite career success, leaders are particularly vulnerable to ethical lapses.

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Being Inconsistent Can Cost You Your Credibility

Steve Nguyen, Ph.D. (Mar. 10, 2019) Being inconsistent is not just about words versus actions, but also in what you say consistently (across time) and how you act consistently (across time). In other words, at any given moment and especially depending on the person or group you are interacting with, an observer might find that you are a completely different person. You cater to certain individuals while dismissing others. You value one person solely based on his/her title and position in the organization above another person. In the past decade, regardless of the type of organization (nonprofit, educational institution, or…

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The central role of “Use of Self” in principled leadership

Every day in all of our roles, who we are and how we show up makes a difference in how well we execute our roles, how others are impacted and how we create good and bad narratives about ourselves. Who we are has many complexities but is essentially made up of our personality characteristics, attitudes, values, identities, experiences, knowledge and skills, and styles and preferences. How we show up mostly depends on our self-awareness, ability to manage strengths and weaknesses, and courage to do what is best (or right) for each situation. Developing our Use of Self is not a…

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Top five books to read to become a principled leader

What makes a “good” or “principled” leader? This question has occupied philosophers, scholars, and practitioners for centuries, and it is not likely that even five books will scratch the surface of the complexity of this question. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere! I take a strategic approach to this question, one that synthesizes these centuries of wisdom and brings them into today, rather than responding to fads. My recommendations reflect this. To understand where I am coming from with these recommendations, it helps to think about three core problems that arise whenever we talk about leadership in our organizations. First,…

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Sense of purpose help leaders create strong workplace

Q: How do leaders find satisfaction in each workday and create an environment conducive to employee satisfaction? A: When employees feel they are secure in their basic needs and wants, they aspire to a sense of shared governance with the leader. This recognition of their time, energy and effort produces a state of contentment, possibly producing better products and services. Strategies producing satisfaction in competitive goods and service markets yield higher quality and more sustained sales, netting a better standard of living for all. When leadership produces these transformational outcomes, people share and experience success in all levels of the…

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Leading diversity in small businesses

Q: I am interested in learning more about how diversity and inclusion efforts can improve my business outcomes. Can you provide some local resources? A: You are correct in believing that diversity and inclusion efforts (D&I) can have an impact on your business. The business case ranges from the simple — your employees look like customers and suppliers and, therefore, provide a comfort level for those who work with your company — to the less obvious — diverse teams, when managed well, outperform homogeneous teams. The Twin Cities region has a large number of resources available for businesses and organizations…

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