BUSINESS ETHICS INSIGHT: Beware of the White Lie Trap

Why is it that the shade of a lie looks so different to the person lied to than the liar? People who lie, sometimes for personal advantage (including avoiding an unpleasant confrontation) and other times to protect the feelings of the person lied to, tend to see their falsehood in shades of white. People lied to tend to see the …

Insight on Character: You don’t have to be sick to get better and it is never too late to get better.

There’s no doubt that our character has a profound effect on our future. What we must remember, however, is not merely how powerful character is in influencing our destiny, but how powerful we are in shaping our own character and, therefore, our own destiny. Character may determine our fate, but character is not determined by fate. It’s a common mistake to think of character as something that is …

Results of Our “Ideal Employee” Survey

I’m pleased to report that lots of folks have completed our self-assessment survey, which we based on The Ideal Employee: A-Z. (You can see and download a poster there and on its companion post, The Ideal Employer: A-Z. And you can still take the survey here.) I’d like to share with you the results so far. Not surprisingly, most people …

Do business organizations have a moral obligation to keep promises?

While conducting a workshop on corporate values for senior executives of a Fortune 100company, I suggested that promise-keeping was a central aspect of trustworthiness, that it is an ethical as well as a legal responsibility to keep commitments. The company’s legal counsel objected strenuously. “Hold on!” he said. He explained that whether the company decided to live up to an agreement was a …

Integrity Insight: There are no little lies.

One reason so-called little white lies are not so little is that anytime someone discovers that you lied to them, for whatever reason, they ask themselves “What else has he lied to me about?” And this seed of doubt can grow big enough to destroy trust. The ultimatetest of the wisdom and propriety of a so-called white lie is whether …