Recent Integrity Commentaries

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What Will Matter
I’ve quoted my ethics teacher, Michael Josephson, in past commentaries. On March 19, 1995, I had just completed the Josephson Institute’s Ethics Corps – a four-day intensive training on ethics and ethical decision-making to be used by teachers and trainers. At the time, my purpose was to re-educate myself to those philosophical qualities I studied and connected with in college....
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March 20, 2015
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Four Who Made a Difference in 2014
While everybody is posting their own end-of-the-year list, here’s my selection of ethical stand-outs. Mike Carey – Carey is the first African-American to referee the Super Bowl and has been honored as one of the best in the game in 2008. While honesty and fairness are critical to his job, so is respect. So, in 2006 Carey quietly requested that...
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December 31, 2014
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“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.” – Atticus Finch, “To Kill a Mockingbird” There’s a moment in the film, To Kill a Mockingbird that’s particularly compelling. Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in a small...
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November 26, 2014
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Fair and Uncompromising
After learning of the death of Jo Ann Harris yesterday, I felt a great sense of loss at someone who was the definition of integrity. A former assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division under then-Attorney General Janet Reno, Harris was not only the first woman to head that post, she was also an uncompromising fighter to...
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October 31, 2014
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Don’t Tell Tony
You’re sitting in the front row of a sold out conference for self-help guru Tony Robbins, and here it comes, Ba-Bam!: “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” According to publisher Simon and Schuster, minister and author Norman Vincent Peale’s best selling book, The Power of Positive Thinking stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for...
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December 10, 2012
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Rules for Living
The fall of a leader is always tragic, and in David Petraeus’ case, much unexpected. In the immediacy of the moment, there is an understandable shock, and, within the ranks, it is not uncommon for those closest to him to feel a sense of betrayal. I was in the process of writing-up General Petraeus’ 12 Rules of Leadership when it was announced...
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November 9, 2012
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Integrity Matters
James Burke, the Johnson & Johnson CEO whose leadership during the early 80s Tylenol scare elevated ethics over profit, died last week. In giving a talk to a group in Boston, I emphasized his story as an example in ethical leadership that we need to see more of today. In 1982, when several poisonings had been linked to Tylenolcapsules, Johnson &  » Read more about: Integrity Matters...
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October 3, 2012
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Journalistic Integrity
According to a recent Gallup poll (July 10) “Confidence in newspapers is now half of what it was at its peak of 51% in 1979.” However, I recently came across an example where a reporter remained committed to doing the right thing in spite of professional and social pressures. With people closing in on the identity of Deep Throat – the mystery...
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July 13, 2012
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Ethics vs. Morality
A recent e-mail from friend and colleague Jamie O’Boyle directed me to a news story from The Catholic Sun, an online newspaper from the Dioceses of Phoenix, Arizona. Father Thomas Williams, dean of moral theology at the Rome’s Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University in Rome, “who has appeared over the years as a church analyst for CNN, CBS, ABC and Fox...
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June 6, 2012
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What’s the Goal?
Last Friday’s post talked about business ethics. One reader asked about a potential conflict between the needs of a shareholder to make money versus needing to do right by employees. “Can you be equally ethical to both? Is it ethical for a company to deprive shareholders of additional money in order to maintain an ethical working environment?” Creating and maintaining...
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May 25, 2012

Read Some of the Most Recent Articles
The Latest... And Often Greatest
Memo to Democrats: Don’t Gloat
Note: On assignment, but I’ll be back! No high-fives. No victory laps. No champagne room. You’re not out of the woods, yet. Watching Democratic leadership...
The Bird is The Word
“A-well-a everybody’s heard about the bird! Bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, bird is the word . . . ”—The Trashmen,...
Stand for What’s Right!
Integrity: firm adherence to a code of moral values—uprightness. A rap star spouts antisemitic and anti-Black remarks and refuses to apologize. A basketball star apologizes...
The Lies of Alex Jones: Contemptible, Now, ACCOUNTABLE!
Returning to duty Monday, November 7! Alex Jones, the belligerent, hostile, influential media host of Infowars was held accountable for his lies concerning the murder...
Great Moments in Republican Hypocrisy
How much toxicity can American democracy take before it collapses? Here’s pro-life conservative pundit Dana Loesch speaking about the scandal surrounding former pro-football player, anti-abortion...
Yvon Chouinard’s Extraordinary Gift
With all the chaos and destruction brought about by Washington and an unprecedented hurricane, one story has received only moderate attention. Before Yvon Chouinard became...