Be a Source of Ethical Influence

Some who have commented on Make An Ethical Difference: Tools for Better Action have pointed out that the tools provided for making an ethical difference are also good tools of influence. This makes sense since accomplishing something in ethics often means influencing people. Most discussion of influence are thinly veiled manuals on how to manipulate others. The problem with this is that people recognize that they have been manipulated and limit your future influence. When you influence with ethics, there is no rebound effect. In fact, your ability to influence grows as you learn to influence with ethics. A recent piece in CEO Magazine discusses just this point:

How to Handle Whistleblowers

In my years as an ethics consultant, the one question that never goes away is, “What do we do about whistleblowers?” Companies always fear the trouble that whistleblowers may cause, but they seldom take the right precautionary steps. The whistleblower you need to worry about is the one who takes a concern outside of the company whether through litigation or the use of media or both. In order, not to have to worry about these external whistleblowers, you have to learn to love your internal whistleblowers – something few companies do. I write about this in some detail in a recent piece for the Globe and Mail‘s Leadership Lab. You can read it at and give me comments at