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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio


Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Heating up in the fire
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
How do you think about ethical action?
'It's not just opportunity'


“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”
— Albert Einstein

Recently, in two separate meetings within a 24-hour time period, I had the good fortune of being educated by two Orange County executives from diverse professions, exploring insights into their larger calling as leaders. Cristi Cristich, CEO of Cristek Interconnects Inc., provided the principle, and Tony Alessandra, president of Insurance Solutions, offered the rubber-meets-the-road practice.

Asking Cristich about the opportunities she saw to renew the culture of trust in her business setting, she said, “It’s not just opportunity; it’s obligation.” I inquired what she meant. She commented that after 25 years of business leadership, she now appreciates that there are two kinds of responsibilities: explicit and implicit. Explicit focuses on basic expectations and agreements that employees anticipate in the leadership and management of organizations. Implicit, in contrast, is the spirit of leadership that influences by personal example and is motivated to explore new avenues for defining business culture based on the leadership obligation to pursue the good of others.

Then came Alessandra! Out of his sense of personal obligation, he is pursuing the story of implicit leadership in his organization. Nearly a year ago, Alessandra began to learn about the significant work of Boys Town California and its expanding reach in Orange County to serve children and youth who are under the protective care of Social Services or the courts. As a devoted family man, Alessandra heard the need to act, not simply for himself, but began to engage his company by asking: "How can we get involved?" The outcome? Insurance Solutions has become the lead Orange County corporate partner for Boys Town California and, in doing so, has energized its employees, vendors and clients to support the good work of this valued nonprofit. Take a look at what’s happening Oct 9 to capture how one O.C. company has moved quickly from opportunity to obligation as an influence for good and, in doing so, has enhanced the story of meaning in the workplace.

Click here for more information.

Mission Integrity Action

Where do I focus the eye of my leadership? Are there new opportunities for implicit leadership to influence the greater good this week in my actions with a customer, client or professional associate? Do my conversations deepen the story of trust that will attract the respect of others? What one new idea or conversation will I experience this week that challenges me to think beyond the moment to pursue new obligations of service to others?


Russell Williams,
founder/president
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge
ethicaledge.org