Recent Commentaries

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“I Want My Country Back!”
Wade Clark Roof is Director of the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Working with Clark on the poll, “The First 100 Days – Integrity, Leadership, Trust” was more than a positive experience. His sense of integrity, scholarship and clear thinking inspires my own work. ...
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September 30, 2009
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Making Things Grow
Jim McCann likes to make things grow.  McCann acquired the 1-800-FLOWERS number in 1986 after successfully building his own chain of 14 flower shops in the New York metropolitan area. While creating a reliable brand name, he focused on instilling a sense of trust and convenience in an industry that previously had no leader. McCann attributes much of his success...
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September 28, 2009
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Keeping Me Honest
After posting this commentary, I learned that Susan Atkins had died late last night. On September 4, I offered an ethical scenario. How Would You Decide? asked readers on both my own Web site and Huffington Post to put themselves in the place of parole commissioners for the state of California and decide whether to release Manson follower and convicted murderer Susan Atkins...
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September 25, 2009
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Has America Lost its Moral Compass?
A Rap star takes the stage from one award winner shouting that another should have won. A TV pundit calls the President a racist. During a Presidential address to Congress, a representative shouts, “You lie!” Lumbering through a moral wilderness of incivility and unreason we are losing the best of ourselves to fear and uncertainty. With a struggling economy, rising...
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September 21, 2009
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Speaking of Accountability
One of the best examples of corporate responsibility came from a conversation I had with former Johnson & Johnson Chairman James E. Burke. In the fall of 1982, Burke was confronted with a nightmare scenario. Seven people in the Chicago area had died after ingesting Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules that were laced with cyanide. His decision-making process, leading to the recall of all forms...
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September 18, 2009
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This is one judge you never want to face. If you’re an executive at the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank of America, Judge Jed S. Rakoff is one court official you don’t want to mess with. During the takeover of troubled financial giant Merrill Lynch by Bank of America in 2008, the S.E.C. gave its blessing to the deal.   » Read more about: Accountability  »...
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September 16, 2009
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A Way to Honor
On September 11, 2001 Glenn Winuk lost his life while rescuing people in the South tower of the World Trade Center. However, rather than follow the yearly memorials to those who died at the hands of terrorists, Jay Winuk, Glenn’s brother, along with fellow public relations executive David Paine chose to make the anniversary more, a lot more.  The two...
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September 14, 2009
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Let’s Be Honest – The “Uncivil Season” Edition
 » Read more about: Let’s Be Honest – The “Uncivil Season” Edition  »...
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September 14, 2009
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September 2009 Ethical Hero – Stan Brock
While everyone agrees that health care needs reform, agreement on exactly how remains to be seen. Stan Brock isn’t waiting for change.  His group provides health care for those that need it most. “If you’ve got a mouth full of bad teeth and you can’t see to function, to get a job, for you it is a disaster,” Brock said....
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September 12, 2009
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The Junius Kellogg Story
It’s not easy to do the right thing when everybody’s making money but you.  That’s why ’50s Manhattan College basketball star Junius Kellogg stood out in more ways than one. In the superb 1998 HBO documentary, City Dump: The Story of the 1951 Basketball Scandal, broadcaster Al McGuire remembers, “You didn’t even have $15 for laundry in those days.  You had no scratch,...
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September 11, 2009