Hi friends! It’s a beautiful Saturday morning in late May, in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. I’m sitting here at a little outdoor restaurant for a few moments. You’ll see over my head this beautiful dome. This is the tower that’s part of the Duomo in the center, the heart of Florence. And as I’m sitting here, I’m about to say you know Florence is a beautiful City and it was really the heart, In fact this area I’m in right now is really the heart and beginning of the Renaissance.
Hi guys. Ron today from beautiful Rome, Italy. It’s late spring. It’s a gorgeous day. My wife and another couple are touring around Italy over the next few weeks.
And last night we serendipitously stepped out and went to a scaled-down performance of an opera called The Barber of Seville that was held in a beautiful Cathedral not far from where I am right now. What grabbed my attention about this is it was all in Italian and I didn’t understand a word of what was said. Neither did my wife. But the cast communicated. They communicated heart to heart, soul to soul to us. Just a handful of exquisite singers and about six musicians in the orchestra played in this beautiful venue. I didn’t know the language but yet we had communication take place. I wanted to use this as an example of helping you understand the concept of communications.
Hi friends! Ron today from Cortona, Italy! I wanted to take a few minutes to talk to you about what we’ve been experiencing. My wife and I and another couple have just come from Rome where we spent five days seeing all the great sights, running around and getting on buses, and walking a great deal. We were exhausted when we got to Cortona via train. It’s a beautiful hill city, a very peaceful, beautiful place.
Undoubtedly the economy is a mess. But wasn’t it the greed, arrogance and self-absorption on wall street along with the get-rich-quick mindset, greed and selfishness on main street that got us here.
And, as people are responding now, don’t we see fundamentally a response that flows from character or lack of it?
Think about it… fear, blaming others, denial, worry, dishonesty, inappropriate anger (I think there is plenty of good anger needed right now)?
And the biggest issue to me.. how do we start to make adjustments based on good character.. taking responsibility, kicking in the work ethic, caring for others in need, being generous, providing positive solutions, etc.
What do you think?
Socrates once said, “you’ll never know a line is crooked unless you have a straight line to put next to it.” And, we have increasingly lost our “straight lines” in our culture. This needs to drive us to be clear about what our absolutes and non-negotiable values are. And, a great way to do this is to write up and then live out a code of ethics. I recently came across the Harvard Business School MBA Code of Ethics. This code developed and promoted by students and graduates of the school to promote “straight lines” is intriguing and helpful. As a business leader I recognize my role in society.
- My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone.
- My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and tomorrow.
Therefore, I promise that:
- I will manage my enterprise with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society.
- I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my enterprise.
- I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.
- I will protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my enterprise, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.
- I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.
- I will report the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
- I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity.
In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards. This oath I make freely, and upon my honor. What do you think of this and what other examples of great Codes of Ethics have you come across?
“How STUPID” was the comment my wife and I simultaneously uttered last night while watching the news report of Republican congressman Chris Lee resigning after his shirtless Craigslist post.
The reporter said, “Republican politician resigns after woman’s web search reveals ‘fit fun classy guy’ posing as divorcee to be in fact married with a son.”
You probably know the story by now. Our response of “how stupid” resulted from the disconnect. After all, how could a powerful, second-term US Congressman do something so wreckless and, yes, stupid?