Embracing Ethics in Character

"Touching humanity with something larger than yourself..."

Wow! An extremely powerful notion and one offered regularly by RDML Scott, Deputy Chief of Chaplains, when he addresses future command leaders at NLEC.

A keen understanding of being part of a calling, something bigger than ourselves, is half the battle. Getting after a deeper cognition on the values and principles of that calling (Profession)...and...deeply reflecting on how we align ourselves with those pretty darn cool!

Last week's posting reflected on the need to "have the conversation" - one based on values and its direct linkage with shaping culture.

In the next few postings, we intend to continue the discussion on this thing we call "character" - a fascinating mix of ethical understanding intermingled with a person's keen awareness of their own identity.

Continuing this conversation on ethics....

In the attached piece "Leadership Ethics Training: Why Is It So Hard To Get It Right?", Linda Thornton offers some questions that can really help leaders navigate through the ethical landscape:


Here are some questions that may help you define ethical issues and appropriate leader behaviors in the context of your organizational values:

  • What are the specific ethical behaviors that are required of all organizational leaders?
  • What are the consequences if they don’t behave ethically?
  • What are the situations that people encounter that could lead them into a grey area?
  • How should those grey areas be handled?
  • What does it look like when leaders perform according to the organization’s stated values?
  • What does it look like when they don’t?
  • How should people make decisions when they encounter difficult situations?
  • Where might our leaders fall into grey areas while implementing our goals and values?
  • What are areas where we will not tolerate compromise?
  • What are areas of flexibility?
  • Where do we need to clarify our mission and values, to make it clear that we are an ethical organization, and ethics is not negotiable?

How can we more effectively recruit, recognize, and retain ethical leaders?