Ethics Schmethics: What Skeptics are Saying

Here is a website (called appropriately where readers can confess their ethical misdeeds and have them rated by level from 1 to 10. Guess what? The ethical misdeed “We totally fabricated our numbers” is only rated a 6 out of 10 (with 10 being “never acceptable”). Does that trouble you? It should. For too long, practices like fudging the numbers have been considered minor offenses, not major ethical problems.  Why? Thomas Paine says it best:

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.  Thomas Paine

There are  skeptics about the movement toward more ethical leadership. Why would anyone be skeptical after all the stories we’ve seen in the news? Here is a possible list of reasons:

  1. I don’t want to have to care about other people
  2. It’s too much trouble to be ethical
  3. If I’m ethical I can’t make money
  4. I don’t understand what ethical means
  5. My boss is unethical
  6. My company is unethical
  7. My friends are unethical
  8. They taught me to be unethical in business school
  9. What’s wrong with unethical? Fabricating numbers is only 6 out of 10 on Everbody’s doing it!

Leaders at all levels who want to be responsible are becoming aware that they can lead ethically, even if their boss does not. And skeptics are beginning to realize that the very success of their companies depends upon embracing the new consumer expectation for ethical leadership and a high trust customer relationship.

Resources for Skeptics:

For New Blog Posts, visit


For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?
  7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
  About 7 Lenses  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2010 Leading in Context LLC 

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