Does ethics matter? If you are a leader, do you realize the impact of your ethical decisions and lifestyle on your team and on your career?

Try the situation of US Navy Captain Owen Honors (see The New York Times article).

I bet there were sighs of relief in Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University and the “cradle of coaches” in football, when the football coach they lost to Pittsburg University had a lapse of ethics and judgement and was arrested for allegedly physically attacking his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child. He was just over two weeks on the job at Pitt when he was summarily fired.

It really pays to think. We used to live in a world where ethical lapses of our leaders were quietly hidden by press relations and media. We live in a more transparent world now where instead of whispered rumors we have public information.

And it’s not just sexual ethics or restraining our violent side. There are tons of ethical decisions facing you every day. In my business, a big one is to not be bought off by advertisers, but to retain my independence and integrity. Not that we can’t be friendly, but I have to be watchful. What are the biggest temptations you face for taking the easy route? How do you handle them?

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