February 26, 2009

You can’t make this stuff up…

A friend of mine sent me this link tonight (http://www.truthout.org/022409J) and it is so sad it is almost comical. What a pathetic politically correct world in which we live. If the implications of this are factual then God help us all.

February 24, 2009

Blowing the Whistle

Sorry that I have been away for so long, it isn’t for the lack of desire – too many responsibilities with the year-end, shareholder meeting and 2009 growth demands.

This weekend I began to prepare for my participation in the “Great Debate” sponsored by the Oregon Independent College Foundation (OICF). It seemed to be the appropriate Blog subject and I was incredibly lucid in my thinking, but following a system crash I had to redo this blog post; and it now comes with an epiphany – if Microsoft made cars we would walk to work three or four times a week.

As I now sit here on Monday night, after a very long day of work and a session with my personal trainer who seems to just live to kick my ass I am far less lyrical.

In an earlier post I mentioned my involvement with the University of Arizona and the Eller Ethics Bowl. I find my time with these very bright and inspired students to invigorate my thinking and challenge me to be a better mentor.

The OICF Ethics Bowl is an academic competition that stresses the importance of ethics in the workplace, combined with leadership, decision making, and interpersonal relations. So aside from being a judge on Saturday, this Friday I will be on stage with 7 other CEO's in Oregon, judged by a student panel from the OICF's member schools debating a current ethical dilemma.
The topic is all too real. A senior bank executive, who is not part of the lending operations, discusses the impending risk they see based on the bank’s sub-prime policy with the bank’s CEO. The CEO tells the executive they have always been a team player, but have also always been too risk adverse. The CEO explains that the bank had hedged against the sub-prime risk and that while they appreciate this concern; a more immediate concern is the less than stellar growth numbers the executive’s division is reporting. The executive goes home and tells their spouse that they are conflicted at work. The spouse’s response is “how do we pay our bills and keep our kids in private school if you lose your job?”

The question for the panel is basically “what’s a girl to do…” This scenario can be played a dozen different ways. A single mom sees her boss doing something wrong, but how do you pay the rent if you are retaliated against. This is a real problem and while I can discuss the how and why surrounding the importance of having the right culture to report misconduct it doesn’t answer the question.

In this case, a person raised their hand, expressed an opinion and was told there is no risk and you better get your personal house in order if you keep pushing this agenda.
However, I can also turn the tables. People at Peanut Corporation of America must have seen and felt the same way. They didn’t want to lose their jobs, but by the last week in January, the number of tainted peanut butter salmonella cases had reached 600, at least nine people are dead and PCA is bankrupt.

So I ask you – how could this executive be more effective in exposing this risk? Or, should they remain silent?

About Me

David Childers
of EthicsPoint

View David Childer's profile on LinkedIn contact david Email Me


Favorite Quotes:

Ronald Reagan
There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

John Quincy Adams
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

Ray Kroc
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.

John Maxwell
The first step to leadership is servanthood.