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The Risk Of Being Ethically Tone Deaf At The Top

Patricia Harned | September 6, 2006

You wake in the night, only to toss and turn for what seems like an eternity. When you’re not thinking about how tired you’re going to be in the morning, you are mulling over work concerns. You’re not worried about unfinished business, but the “what ifs” keep running through your mind. “What if our new outsourcing partner leads us into violations? What if we’ve interpreted that accounting rule just a little too liberally? What if our business unit managers aren’t consistently upholding our directives? What if there’s an employee out there who is violating the law, and we find out too late?”

You see your organization as a house of cards waiting to fall. Then your thoughts turn to your staff and you remind yourself that you have strong people working for you. All your good efforts would surely withstand scrutiny, should the worst-case scenario occur.

Your mind then wanders to the email you sent to the entire staff announcing the win of a...

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