The Rabbi and The Shrink

Episode #11: Jennifer Elder - Build a Sustainable Future

May 13, 2021 Rabbi Yonason Goldson and Dr. Margarita Gurri, CSP Episode 11
The Rabbi and The Shrink
Episode #11: Jennifer Elder - Build a Sustainable Future
Show Notes

Could you be the next Bernie Madoff? Could I?
What is the ethics diamond?
What is meliorism and why can't we be ethical without it?

These and many other gems of wisdom are found in this week's episode with executive coach Jennifer H. Elder, CSP, CPA, CVP.

1:00 The ethics diamond (the fraud triangle + one)

  1. Facing the dilemma of choosing knowing someone will get hurt
  2. Pressure from one side or both: angel and devil on your shoulder
  3. Rationalization
  4. What’s the likelihood of getting caught?

2:30 The crisis of COVID magnifies all these elements

5:30 Gray areas are fertile ground for rationalization: 

How honest can I be with myself?

How much we need a community to hold us accountable

*8:00 Slippery slope: small violations lead to bigger ones

Without consequences, we get bolder

10:30 Transgressions become permitted and then become values

11:30  The fallacy of the slippery slope?

13:00 An ethical culture allows for making mistakes and missteps as a mechanism to do better

Change starts with individuals, and is modelled from the top down

The damage caused by mixed messages and double standards

Noble behavior inspires higher personal standards

18:30 Keep ethical values up front

Don’t just print, post, and pray

Organizational responsibility

21:00 Is this the right thing to do?

Ethics begins where compliance ends

Take the moment of failure and focus on past successes

24:00 The story of Noah and the ark: the world was filled with violence and on the brink of self destruction

Try to raise up others while not letting them pull you down

27:00 Does the ethics of a company resonate with the culture of the time and fit with its own people?

*30:00 In a polarizing culture, finding common core values becomes increasingly essential to survival

Harvard/ University of London study: ethical businesses have 4 times higher sales

“Help me understand your position”

Learn to be curious

35:00  Whistleblowing: “What is lawful can be awful”

The importance of having a hotline

“Hold me accountable”

Report but verify

41:30  Why is it so hard to sell ethics?

The evil of “soft skills”

Sincerity sells

45:30 Word of the day: meliorism -- the belief that the world can be improved through effort

Ethics is impossible without optimism

*47:30 Organizational ethics defines the culture

Three questions for employees to create an ethical climate

52:00 Communication, collaboration, and problem-solving

55:00 Ethics requires courage; courage requires support and rewards (when they work)

1:01:00 Whistleblowing should be hard and should be worth it

FEAR: false expectations appearing real