Ethikos Weekly Editor’s Picks – October 14, 2014

Editor’s Top Choice:

The Ethics Coach on the Secret to Hiring Honest Employees
Gael O’Brien of Entrepreneur:

Q: I don’t have the resources for the personality tests that big companies use to weed out dishonest job applicants. Since references generally leave out negative information about candidates, what’s the best way to be sure we’re hiring honest and ethical people?

A: The smartest thing any business can do is involve a mix of its best employees in the interview process. They’ll bring the perspective of high standards and effectiveness, and are likely to look for the same traits in potential candidates. In smaller businesses, where employees are often stretched, everyone has a stake in seeing that excellent candidates are hired. Read more

Other Featured Picks of the Week

Power Distance: You Can’t Lead Across Cultures Without Understanding It
Erin Meyer, contributing to Forbes:

When you visit the headquarters of Heineken, in Amsterdam, you find a lot of tall blond Dutch people, and also a lot of Mexicans. In 2010 Heineken purchased a big operation in Monterrey, Mexico, and now a large number of head-office employees come from there.

Among them is Carlos Gomez, who described his experiences since moving to Amsterdam. “It is absolutely incredible to manage Dutch people, and nothing like my experience leading Mexican teams,” he said, “because from my experience the Dutch do not care at all who is the boss in the room.”

The degree of respect we show to authority is deeply rooted in the culture we are raised in. We begin as young children learning how much deference we should show to an older sibling, a parent, a teacher. Later, in business, these same ideas affect how we view our relationships with our bosses and subordinates. Read more

Can Business Behaviour Be Changed from Within?

Fiona Coffey and Philippa Foster Back writing for HR Director:

New report from Institute of Business Ethics examines the role of those working in Ethics & Compliance in improving corporate culture.

New research, published by the Institute of Business Ethics, explores the role of Ethics and Compliance (E&C) practitioners in promoting ethical conduct inside organisations. It is based on interviews with 18 senior E&C practitioners, predominantly based in the UK and Europe, but with global responsibilities. Repeated corporate scandals in recent years have raised questions as to the ability of businesses to improve ethical behaviour from the inside.  Rather than being seen as random incidents of individual misconduct, these scandals have been largely attributed to integrity failures in corporate culture.  This research analyses how E&C practitioners are able to affect corporate culture and improve ethical behaviour. Read more

Leadership in the Shadow of Crisis
Laura Lynn Burke writing for National Mortgage Professional:

Leading after the crisis, is often times more difficult than leading through a crisis. In the midst of crisis, everyone pulls together and rallies the troops to make it through unscathed. Leadership after crisis is utopic, as it is scrutinized under the microscope. In hindsight, fingers are easily pointed, and “should haves” are abundant.

We are all well aware of the 2008 financial meltdown and mortgage crisis that affected our nation and a plethora of lenders. Many companies closed their doors, the mortgage brokers business never to be the same again. As time heals all wounds, the gaping gashes of the mortgage crisis are healing, still tender to the touch and ever ready to be opened again, hast we lead with ethically strong leaders.

What characteristics make a strong leader? I could list a bunch of adjectives we are familiar with from our days of ethics and business leadership courses: Accountability, achiever, character, ability to command, conviction, determination, education, experience, ethical, foresight, loyal, resolve, thinker, trustworthy, and the list goes on. But what truly determines a leader is that others will “choose” to follow them. It is not a mandated rule, or strong-armed management decree, it is a pulling of their insides that guides them and directs them to follow a leader. It is a quality unknown to those who are not true leaders, that people will merely choose to follow a leader, to believe in a leader, from the trenches of war; with General Patton to Mother Teresa; a Roman Catholic Religious Sister and missionary, others chose to follow. Read more

The Business Case for Putting Ethics at the Heart of Corporate Culture
From Anna Nadgrodkiewicz, of the CIPE Development Blog:

In today’s global business environment, corruption poses a risk that companies with operations around the world must understand and manage effectively. Those that do reap the benefits. As the Ethisphere Institute points out, the business case is clear: the five year annualized performance of the World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies Index was 21 percent, beating S&P 500’s 18 percent. Similarly, the ten year annualized performance of the WME Index is, at 11.4 percent, significantly higher than that of S&P 500 at 7.4 percent. Read more

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