Newsweek’s Response Re Bernie Sanders

Someone at Newsweek picked my recent piece on why the young are so excited about Bernie Sanders and dared to disagree with my analysis. You can read Newsweek‘s take on this controversy at http://www.newsweek.com/bernie-sanders-followers-socialists-fabian-george-bernard-shaw-437017.

Up Close and Personal: Why It Matters

Is there still a point to having in-person, flesh-and-blood meetings? Is there a point to such meetings when we can see and hear a person in another part of the country/world as if they were seated across from us? Is the belief that being there in-person still matters just a pre-technological bias that will pass as technology makes remote communication even more accessible? My work in ethics tells me that there is a point to in-person meetings – and we can put our finger on just what this point is. I explain this in the Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-pastin/up-close-and-personal-why_b_9394572.html .

Practical Lessons from Ethical Leaders

If you want to know how ethical leaders drive their organizations you may wish to visit the following piece from the Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/leadership-lab/five-practical-lessons-from-ethical-leaders/article28963439/

Bernie Sanders Appeal to the Young

Win, lose or draw, the popularity of Bernie Sanders among young people is a phenomenon. I take a shot of explaining his appeal in a piece that appears in The Weekly Standard. You can read it at http://www.weeklystandard.com/making-the-socialist-grade/article/2001270

More on Ethical Influence

If you are interested in strategies for ethical influence, you may enjoy this piece from CEO Magazine.

http://blogs.the-ceo-magazine.com/blog/markpastin

 

Ethical Influence

There is little use in being ethical if you are unable to influence the thoughts and actions of others. It is one thing to know right from wrong and quite another to act effectively on this knowledge. To put your ethics to work, you have to be able to influence others to do the right thing. Ethics is not a warm, fuzzy feeling that makes you feel good about yourself. It is a commitment to doing your best to make the right thing happen. When you are trying to convince others to follow an ethical path, you cannot use the tools of trickery so often taught in courses on influence. You have to be both effective and ethical in how you get others to agree on an ethical course of action. Here are some powerful tools of ethical influence.

Act First.

Don’t wait for others to show they are committed to doing the right things to make your own commitment clear. One company to which I consult adopted a strict but much ignored policy prohibiting gifts from vendors. One day, the COO of the company received a package from a vendor that contained a gold plaited St. Andrew’s putter built specifically for him. He really wanted to keep it. But he handed it to his administrative assistant with instructions to return the putter to the vendor along with a note about the company’s gift policy. News of his action moved through the company like wildfire, and the gift policy was suddenly real.

Find Common Ground.

When you are trying to convince others to act ethically, appeal to their principles before appealing to your own. When you are trying to convince someone to take an ethical course of action, there is a natural tendency on the part of others to see you as trying to force your principles on them. But if you explain why you want to take the course of action in terms of their ethical principles, you start out from a position of respect “I know you believe in giving everyone a fair chance so can we agree …” There is often surprisingly little disagreement at the level of basic ethical principles, so reasoning from the principles of others is often fairly easy.

 

A Final Trait of Ethical Leaders

We have looked at several traits of ethical leaders. The final trait has as much to do with what ethical leaders don’t do as much as it relates to what they do.

Pass on some opportunities.

There is a lot excitement in a company when a new opportunity presents itself. Despite this excitement, ethical leaders look at opportunities not only in term of what is gained, but also in terms of the ethical implications of pursuing the opportunity. The CEO of a construction supply company won the right to sell heavy equipment in Mexico. However, he asked his team how they could succeed in Mexico without paying bribes. There was no answer so he passed on the opportunity. The company which seized the opportunity was plagued by corruption charges not only in Mexico but also at home. For ethical CEOS, if you cannot pursue an opportunity ethically, you cannot pursue it at all.