Diagram showing figures pulling a heavy weight; the "leader" is pulling with the figures and the "boss" is directing the figures to pull

Leaders are role models, whether they want the responsibility or not.

As such, leaders who champion strong ethical behavior will more likely have employees who value and practice ethical behavior in the workplace and beyond. Leaders are not only shaping the company’s future—they are shaping lives of their employees, customers and society.

Examples

Lakeshirts Blue 84: Embroidery & ethics

Better Business Bureau Ethics TORCH Award Finalist Lakeshirts Blue 84 from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, builds their business by following five…

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Blue Ox: Hardworking ethics

Better Business Bureau Ethics TORCH Award Finalist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk8iEygF9SQ Used by kind permission of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota &…

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Standard Water Control Services: Where ethical business is the standard

Better Business Bureau Ethics TORCH Award Finalist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMC_12t_h7c Used by kind permission of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota &…

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Preferred Credit: Ethics preferred

Better Business Bureau Ethics TORCH Award Finalist Used with kind permission by the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota & North…

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Blue and White Taxi: Driving Ethics Home

Better Business Bureau Ethics TORCH Award Finalist Used with kind permission of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota & North…

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Update your leadership skills to bridge the digital-human divide

Classic "soft skills" need new definitions and applications for workplaces of the future. Illustration by Hiroshi Watanabe Note: This is…

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BBB Better Series: Women leaders making history

It’s #NationalWomensHistoryMonth, and Leasa Graves, Assistant Director of National Women’s History Alliance joins us on this episode of Better Series…

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BBB Better Series: Great leaders SOAR

To See, Own, Articulate, and Release your mission, is the premise behind SOAR Community Networks. Mali Phonpadith, founder and CEO…

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Service that fits

North Wales Running Co. thrives thanks to focus on customer experience, company culture, and community. For Scott Tantino, running isn’t…

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Keeping businesses accountable

With more than a century of experience under its belt, Better Business Bureau (BBB) still remains as committed as ever…

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Practical Guidance

Margaret Heffernan’s “Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes”

An Ethical Systems Book Review BY KATHARINA WEGHMANN Margaret Heffernan’s new book “Beyond Measure: The big impact of small changes,” is an original manifesto for business leaders. Creating strong organizational cultures does not require multi-million dollar programs; instead, small actions by each employee- from Custodian to CEO- matter more and have the biggest impact. Heffernan shows that throughout history, it has been systemic barriers, such as failure to speak up, hoarding information etc., that become the cause for disasters. Therefore, to truly create a culture where information is shared and collaboration is facilitated means empowering everyone within an organization to have-…

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Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

An Ethical Systems Book Review BY JOSHUA ELLE Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Successby Adam GrantPenguin Group (2013) (public library)Summarized by Joshua Elle Overview Adam Grant combines personal accounts and contemporary research, both made readily accessible, to build a case for thinking of people as takers, matchers, and givers. He shows how givers tend to rise to the top of the success ladder. Application to Ethical SystemsGrant tells us how to foster an environment that (1) supports givers, (2) encourages matchers and takers to transform into givers, and (3) precludes or eliminates takers altogether. He provides a strong foundation…

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Leadership on the way to the finish line

Maintaining a healthy workplace in the waning days of the pandemic Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels As the economy begins to recover, your business may need to bring in more staff. But the risk of illness is still real, and it's important to show strong and principled leadership to keep your workforce healthy. Here are some steps to lead on workplace safety. 1. Follow CDC guidelines and local mandates Even though vaccinations are underway, it will be quite some time before we reach a strong immunity level for the general population. Until then, it's as important as ever to follow guidelines from…

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Why being respectful to your coworkers is good for business

Leadership researcher Christine Porath looks at how workplace incivility damages productivity and employee retention. Watch this video for insights about the cost of incivility and how basic respect improve workplace culture. https://www.ted.com/talks/christine_porath_why_being_respectful_to_your_coworkers_is_good_for_business

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Three keys to building an ethical business culture

Principled leaders articulate their values, make decisions guided by their values and consistently model their values.  Q: How can my business build a strong organizational culture of ethics? A: There are three key pillars to building and maintaining an ethical business culture: principled leadership, equitable systems and ethical citizenship. Principled leaders articulate their values, make decisions guided by their values and consistently model their values. Principled leaders can be identified at any level of an organization. Individuals in positions of authority within an organization should most certainly be virtuous persons with principles that drive their action. Because humans have a psychological…

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How do I add a philanthropic aspect to my business?

Learn ways that a company can give back to the community Q: How do I add a philanthropic aspect to my business? A: Many business owners choose to pursue philanthropy in addition to their commercial goals. Businesses can advance their charitable interests in many ways. Some businesses give a portion of their profits to charitable projects. For example, Target donates money to local needs as well as to national charities, such as Feeding America and St. Jude Hospital. Target also offers grants for school field trips and soccer programs. These programs raise Target’s community profile. Businesses may promote employee volunteerism.…

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Do your customers trust your business?

Five "gestures of respect" may determine whether they do or not In the fall of 2015, as an ethnographer who helps organizations understand how their audiences see the world, I was asked by Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) to examine how consumers think about interactions with businesses. Ultimately, the goal was to define what a better business is and to garner best practices that businesses can follow to be deemed noteworthy in the eyes of the consumer. My research would end up complementing research CBBB conducted separately on what it means to be a better business. To gain an…

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Ethical leadership, part II: Best practices

Psychological research provides guidance as to how leaders can create a workplace culture that encourages ethical behavior by employees.

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Ethical leadership, part I: Perilous at the top

The moral example set by leaders has a major impact on the behavior of their subordinates, both good and bad. Despite career success, leaders are particularly vulnerable to ethical lapses.

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Being Inconsistent Can Cost You Your Credibility

Steve Nguyen, Ph.D. (Mar. 10, 2019) Being inconsistent is not just about words versus actions, but also in what you say consistently (across time) and how you act consistently (across time). In other words, at any given moment and especially depending on the person or group you are interacting with, an observer might find that you are a completely different person. You cater to certain individuals while dismissing others. You value one person solely based on his/her title and position in the organization above another person. In the past decade, regardless of the type of organization (nonprofit, educational institution, or…

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