• May 2015
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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Planning helps achieve outcomes
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
'What are you doing for others?'
Are there two ethical worlds?

“Everything you want in life has a price to it. There is a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay for leaving things as they are, a price for everything.” – Harry Browne

Will America’s professional and business leaders act upon the clarion call for transparent, ethical leadership in Washington, on Wall Street and down Main Street? The answer will not be found in mission statements, human resource compliance or governmental regulation. The answer can be found in a straightforward statement from Dwight Eisenhower, our 34th president: “There is no victory at bargain basement prices.”

Managing cause and effect operates with an exact equation: To achieve the more, release the lesser. In 2002 my friend, Brian Marcotte, gave a major address, "Managing in an Unmanageable World," to the Indonesia Petroleum Association while serving as president of the Unocal Indonesia Co. He began his address stating, “I don’t think you can talk about business ethics as something apart from personal ethics.”

Marcotte nailed a big ethical issue. Are there two ethical worlds? Is there the ethical world of what we do personally and another world of what we do professionally? Is one ethical world guided by the spirit of the law while another ethical world is governed by the letter of the law?

The call for the ethical clarity that reframes trust in the corridors of Congress, the culture of organizations, corporate boardrooms and in the ink of a good deal rests in the ethical mind of leadership that knows integrity has its exacting price. It is the gold standard that places a premium on the value of trust. When it is present, it makes things work; whenever integrity is breeched, harm is caused.

Integrity’s competitive asset of managing cause and effect is a powerful tool for business professionals. It is our integrity barometer that constantly measures our integrity journey moment by moment, decision by decision and relationship by relationship.

Mission Integrity Action

Watch the decisions you make and actions you take at work this week using your personal integrity barometer. Ask yourself: Did this decision harm or help? Did this action get me closer or further from my goals in working collaboratively? Observe how the cause and effect measurement offers guidance to your ethical mind’s work as an influencer for good.

Appreciating you on the ethical edge!

Russell Williams,
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge