Ethics in the Real World eBook

All posts tagged Ethics in the Real World eBook

Vacation Time

Published July 7, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

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“The appearance of things changes according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.”
Kahlil Gibran

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America Deserves Better! (Part 1)

Published February 9, 2016 by Mayrbear's Lair

 

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The past few weeks I’ve been posting blogs focused on leadership based on my extensive research work in organizational management. My choice to focus on this topic was based on the fact that as a nation, we are in the process of deciding who we believe will make the best candidate to assume the helm as the next president of the United States. Most citizens, like myself, are looking for a candidate with integrity; one that is accountable, whose decisions and actions make us feel safe about the direction the country is headed. More and more of us are motivated by the power of positive thinking; people of this mindset tend to yearn for an individual who can infect us with a sincere enthusiasm about leading this nation down a more successful and prosperous path. After all, this country grew and became a great nation because of the determination and focused actions our forefathers took as courageous leaders that were driven by a deep passion to pursue justice and freedom while protecting its people and helping the nation expand and prosper.

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The citizens of this country deserve the kind of leader whose actions display sincere intentions with decisions that are driven by a concerted effort to bring order to the institutions that govern this nation. In addition, this country deserves a leader whose choices include an ongoing goal of maintaining peace and restoring economic balance. What I’ve been describing sounds like the kind of leader one would find in the heroic Arthurian journey. Isn’t that the kind of leader most citizens seek? Doesn’t the public deserve a genuine leader of that magnitude? If not, then why are people flocking to hear the negative rhetoric from Republican front runner Donald Trump? In truth, he’s merely expressing what the majority of the constituents are feeling … sick and tired of a dysfunctional government system.

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What inspired me to pursue a Master’s degree in Organizational Management was a passionate eagerness to really understand the nuts and bolts about what it takes to create a successful organization with top performers. So I rolled up my sleeves and dug in deep, absorbing all the information I could muster from a wide variety of sources. I also had the opportunity to conduct extensive analyses of both the failures and successes of others as well as my own. What I discovered, was that while there are many components required in creating a prosperous organization, without the placement of effective leadership guiding the direction of the group, any organization will most likely face hardship taking off, let alone finding its niche in the marketplace with successful outcomes.

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In my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013) my research work reveals that an individual’s attitude and values has an effect on their predispositions towards others, as well as how they interpret concepts and unfolding events. People rely on their experience and perceptions to solve issues sometimes allowing emotions to guide the thinking and decision-making process. Individuals, for instance, without suitable self-management skills, tend to experience more challenges in social arenas and make different decisions than a person who is confident with self-esteem. Furthermore, leaders who lack self-awareness seem to experience difficulty picking up on the boundaries and emotions of others. This makes it difficult to develop healthy relationships because of their inability to relate to others with compassion (Berry, 2013). All of these components help shape an individual’s leadership style and what they perceive as ethical behavior.

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As American voters focus their attention on the New Hampshire Primary, this week, the Republicans and Democrats are both vying for citizens’ attention and are eager for another opportunity to make a splash to convince constituents why they are the best candidate to lead the direction of this fabulous nation. However, in order to determine the best candidate for the position, we must first look at the components that constitute a good leader. In other words, in order to choose the best candidate, the kind of leader this nation deserves, it is up to us to conduct our own research to help us make the best decision available. But first, we must ask ourselves to identify the qualities of a successful leader and then determine which candidate displays most, if not all of them. In my own personal experience working with a wide range of CEOs and Executive Managers, the best leaders were those who: (a) continued to re-examine outdated views and determined which business paradigms required more focus and development; (b) were open to upgrading systems to achieve and maintain smooth operational functions; and (c) possessed an inherent ability to inspire and motivate staff members in reaching their highest potential. These qualities exhibit a kind of leader who is capable of making mindful choices and works diligently to keep morale up.

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John O’Neil (1999) eloquently laid out a formula to help leaders cultivate effective leadership styles in his book, Leadership Aikido,  (1999) where he introduced six concepts developed from the martial arts tradition of Aikido. This plan is focused on achieving victorious outcomes without creating harm. O’Neil provides the following outline as a tool for managers to assess and develop their own efficient leadership style:

  1. Cultivating self-knowledge;
  2. Practicing the paradoxical art of planning;
  3. Speaking the language of mastery;
  4. Letting values drive the decision making process;
  5. Turning failure into success; and
  6. Heeding the law of unintended consequences (O’Neil, 1999).

Based on these practices, O’Neil asserts that through the elements of Aikido, leaders are in a better position to identify and overcome what he defines as the five inner enemies that can impede progress: (1) failure to grow emotionally; (2) failure to make creative decisions; (3) failure to empathize; (4) failure to manage ego; and (5) failure to overcome alienation and boredom (O’Neil, 1999). This perspective embraces personal power and energy as the vital components for developing effective leadership styles.

On Thursday, we will continue this discussion and take a closer look at which of the current candidates display some, if any, of these leadership qualities.

Until then … keep learning and enhancing your own leadership skills!

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Through the right people focusing on the right things, we can, in time, get on top of a lot if not most of the problems of this world. And that’s what a number of us are trying to do.

Richard Branson

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

Resources:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

O’Neil, J. (1999). Leadership aikido. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Prayers for Paris

Published November 16, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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When I was part of a team of performing artists, I had the privilege of touring throughout France and spent a considerable amount of time in Paris. In fact, the first merry-go-round my daughter ever rode on was outside of the Eiffel tower.

Fond memories of France

Fond memories of Paris France with my toddler

Due to the impact last Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris has had on the world, we decided to dedicate this week’s posts to celebrate the spirit of the French people. For no matter how many times they have had the winds knocked out of their sails … they always return stronger and more triumphant!

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My little girl’s first Merry Go Round, Paris France

Paris, you are forever in our prayers!

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Viva Le France!

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“The more you are grateful for what you have the more you can live fully in the present.” ― Dana Arcuri

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Honoring Those Who Serve

Published November 9, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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This week, as proud citizens of the United States, we will once again take the time to celebrate and reflect on the many services provided by our veterans as we honor all the great she-roes and heroes that have served this beautiful country. In honor of these heroic leaders, we decided to re-post our favorite blogs on the topic of leadership for the Veterans Day Holiday this week. In the meantime, we will continue the discussion we began on strategies for effective decision making next week.

Until then … we hope you enjoy this week’s blogs!

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Styles of Leadership
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(Original post, December 2012)

The nature of today’s business world produces constant change. Strong leadership expertise is required to handle potential problems with intelligence, diplomacy, and efficiency. Every leader exhibits talent in a different way and no one way of leading is better than another.  In fact, everyone can lead to a certain degree but not all leaders are effective (Glanz, 2002). Generally, visionary leaders that demonstrate a charismatic style tend to experience higher levels of success. This class of strong leader copes with change, delivers guidance, and institutes direction by communicating a vision that generates enthusiasm. These transformational leaders propagate trust, encourage development leadership skills in others, exhibit self-sacrifice and serve as moral representatives. They focus on objectives that transcend their own immediate needs (Baack, 2012).  In addition, they increase levels of fulfillment and performance in their organization by formulating and communicating a vision while building a bond with their staff. They are able to combine personal capability, group skills, managerial aptitudes and motivational proficiency with individual humility and professional determination.

#1 Leaders

Many studies have been conducted to determine the best style of leadership. Most conclude that effective leaders exhibit varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) impartiality, (c) empathy, (d) judgment, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002).  The best leaders continue to re-examine outdated business paradigms to maintain smooth operations, high production rates, while diligently working to keep morale up. In his book, Leadership Aikido, John O’Neil (1999) introduced six concepts inspired by the martial arts tradition that stresses victory without harm. The six master practices he outlines that enable leaders to assess and develop their potential are:

  1.  Cultivating self-knowledge;
  2.  Practicing the paradoxical art of planning;
  3.  Speaking the language of mastery;
  4.  Letting values drive our decisions;
  5.  Turning failure into success; and
  6.  Heeding the law of unintended consequences (O’Neil, 1999).

He believes through the elements of aikido, leaders are able to identify and overcome five inner enemies that impede progress: (a) failure to grow emotionally; (b) failure to make creative decisions; (c) failure to empathize; (d) failure to manage ego; and (e) failure to overcome alienation and boredom (O’Neil, 1999).  This perspective embraces personal power and energy as vital traits to effective leadership.

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The bottom line is, individuals are not required to be well liked to become effective leaders. What is important, however, in an effective leader is their ability to garner high levels of trust and respect. The truth is, leaders are not always in a position to produce satisfaction in the workplace because not all policies and regulations enforced are popular. It is imperative, nonetheless, that leaders are accepted and command respect in their leadership role. To sum up, if a leader is not acknowledged or venerated on some level, it will be difficult to achieve objective goals and high levels of success in their position.

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“What each of us believes in is up to us, but life is impossible without believing in something.” ― Kentetsu Takamori

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behaviorSan Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership styleAlexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

O’Neil, J. (1999). Leadership AikidoNew York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

The Nature of Conflict

Published October 21, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

 

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This week we began a discussion on how to face conflicts in an attempt to manage them more effectively. Today, we continue our examination by first acknowledging a significant component: that practically every conflict begins with someone or something violating an individual’s rights, boundaries, or comfort zone. While the primary ingredients in any conflict are the individuals involved, conflicts tend to spring from the same litany of sources for all people (Cowan, 2003).  To begin pinpointing the source of a conflict, a closer analysis can help determine the stage of the conflict – whether it is in the latent; perceived; felt; or open stage.

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To help us comprehend the nature of a conflict more clearly, we will analyze one case study of a situation that developed between two organizations we will identify as Company S and Company B. This examination is meant to help us assess what options are available to leaders to help avoid similar conflicts.

Our case study begins with Company S, a small company that sought payment for services rendered to a big company, Company B. In analyzing the situation, we discovered that the small firm, Company S, submitted an invoice for remittance to the big one, Company B, for providing services that required the small firm’s specialized set of skills. However, rather than paying the full amount, Company B rendered payment that represented only a fraction of the sum due. By engaging in this kind of conduct, especially without reaching out to Company S to offer an explanation, Company B’s actions naturally resulted in the creation of a difficult conflict. This action transmitted a clear message; one that revealed a kind of leadership from Company B that had no issue engaging freely in unethical conduct. In short, rather than honor the smaller company’s rates and terms of services, Company B chose to employ a strategy that communicated a form of workplace bullying by refusing to adhere to the terms and conditions laid out by the smaller firm.

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Analyzing a situation like this, a perceptive, strong leader would recognize that the strategic actions of the larger firm revealed a reckless form of leadership; one that displayed a willingness to risk creating conflict in order to achieve short term solutions. Effective leaders also comprehend that this form of conduct, revealed from Company B’s leadership, also jeopardizes the possibility of developing a good working relationship with Company S. Furthermore, a smart leader understands that Company B’s actions also put the firm in jeopardy by risking long term consequences that could ultimately tarnish the firm’s reputation from any negative attention or publicity that could ensue from the exposure of unethical practices.

Had the leaders from the big organization at Company B, engaged in more ethical strategic management practices, rather than pursuing the kind of conduct hagglers exhibit in an attempt to receive lower rates, like sheep merchants at a flea market, they could have avoided this conflict altogether. Leaders of large powerful firms that use small firms or independent contractors as mere pawns to achieve organizational goals, are most certain to create conflicts and also face risking a serious breach of trust from their shareholders by deliberately choosing to engage in methods of ethical misconduct.

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In his book, Taking Charge of Organizational Conflicts, Cowan’s  (2003) research also revealed that relationships and organizations suffer when conflicts are not resolved. Plus, they also have a profound affect on those in the organization directly involved as well as those who are not. The truth is, everyone connected with a conflict, including the innocent bystanders, can be affected at some kind of personal level (Cowan, 2003).

Once leaders are able to address the conflict, steps to resolution can begin by identifying some of the following elements: (a) the parties involved, (b) the issues disputed, (c) the positions of the parties, and (d) the parameters of the bargaining zone. If leaders do not address these components, unresolved conflicts and disruptions can lead to disastrous consequences, especially if the tension continues to build and both sides resort to whatever method available to release aggression and seek justice for having their rights violated.

Although the psychological climate for negotiation can seem bleak, individuals and leaders of organizations that are faced with conflicts, will require strong leadership skills to work through them. The leaders who achieve the most successful results are those that are open to active listening, gather all the information available from the players involved, and engage in practices of transparency and accountability, to help them reach their goals.

That’s a wrap for our discussion today. Until next time … do your best to find ethical solutions when conflicts arise and stay organized!

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“You can’t solve problems until you understand the other side.” – Jeffrey Manber

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

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References

Cowan, D. (2003). Taking charge of organizational conflict (2nd ed.). Fawnskin, CA: Personhood Press.

The Road to Effective Leadership (Conclusion)

Published October 2, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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This week our discussion has been focused on what it takes to develop effective leadership skills. In the book, Business Ethics (2013), Ferrell, et al., revealed that when well-publicized scandals occur the public typically responds with outrage about the deception and fraud exposed and subsequently demand improved ethics with greater responsibility from the institutions they trust (Ferrell, Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2013). In other words, a great leader who reveals ethical behavior, can influence the public’s attitude towards achieving positive outcomes and in doing so, will avoid destroying their trust. It seems like a simple enough formula for most folks to follow. If it is as simple as that, then why do so many world leaders seem to have problems making ethical choices, like the CEO at Volkswagen who just stepped down because of the scandal over their products cheating on pollution emission test results?

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Ethical decisions make up a part of our everyday life. It’s just part of the decision-making process that affects all levels of work management as well as the choices we make in our personal lives. Ethics is not just about isolated personal issues, it also affects policies and informal communication. Additionally, a person’s ethics is responsible for outlining their conduct which is embedded in the fabric of every action that person takes. It affects how they view themselves, behave towards their family and friends, as well as how they operate and respond within their organization and community. In other words, ethical behavior (or the lack of it) has a very profound affect in everyone’s domain.

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In the e-book, Ethics and the Real World (2013) my research work revealed that a person’s emotional intelligence, or their ability to distinguish and administer information from the stimuli that shapes their perceptions and emotional cues, plays a key role in the development of ethical perceptions. In other words, a person’s cognitive ability or beliefs and perceptions about any given situation, influences the way they judge, react, and respond to their environment (Berry, 2013). It also plays a significant role in how they choose to experience their life based on the perceptions they develop which help shape their views on acceptable behavior as well as what they construe as misconduct.

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The most influential leaders, however, are those that carry with them a unique kind of energy; one that has the power to inspire others to take action and make positive changes in themselves. It is a kind of energy that can shine a light on misconduct to illuminate the dark crevices where deceptive practices tend to occur. It is this kind of energy that radiates a spark in others that inspires better choices. This results from the infectious way they touch the emotions of others bringing a sincere warmth in the meaning behind the messages they transmit. It is these kinds of charismatic individuals that come into the world to offer humanity hope in our ability to unite and work together to find solutions that will ultimately help restore balance and harmony.

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In his book, 365 Science of Mind (2007), Ernest Holmes reminds us that individuals capable of aligning themselves with the energy of goodness and right action are those that display an admirable level of moral compass and ethics (Holmes, 2007). In conclusion, our research efforts uncovered that a person’s ethical views plays a key role in their ability to transform others to affect positive changes. This was one of the key components that helped leaders like Nelson Mandella, Pope Francis, Mother Theresa and Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, to name a few, emerge as a formidable force to reckon with in the global community. Each of them, effective leaders who relied on the power of their ethical views to transform the negative energy of the hardships they experienced, to achieve positive outcomes, which in turn has inspired millions to do the same in the process.

Well that’s it for this week. Until next time … keep working on those leadership skills!

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Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life. – Albert Schweitzer

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Mayr’s Author Page.

 

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Ferrell, L., Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2013). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Holmes, E. (2007). 365 Science of Mind. (K. Juline, Ed.) New York, NY: Penguin.

Cultivating Leadership Styles

Published May 13, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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On Monday we began our initial examination on leadership styles and discussed whether being liked is more important than achieving end results. Today we continue this analysis by identifying different kinds of leadership styles. When I was conducting research for my ebook, Ethics in the Real World (2013) I discovered that the ability to distinguish and administer information from perceptions, stimuli, and emotional cues defines a person’s emotional intelligence (EQ). The EQ of a person plays a key role in the development of an individual’s ethical perceptions in both their personal and business relationships, particularly for those with constant social interaction.

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A person’s cognitive ability, or beliefs and perceptions about any given situation, for instance, can influence the way they judge, react to, and respond to their environment (Berry, 2013). I also learned that a person’s EQ plays an important role in how individuals discern satisfaction in their lives and create career experiences based on their own values in addition to what that person perceives is acceptable or unacceptable behavioral choices.

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According to Jeffrey Glanz (2002), many studies have been conducted to determine the best style of leadership, and the majority of researchers concluded that the most effective leadership style is one that exhibits varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) impartiality, (c) empathy, (d) judgment, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002).  In other words, these are the components that are at the core in the development and cultivation of successful leadership styles.

On Friday we will conclude our examination on effective leadership styles. Until then … stay organized!

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“Success comes from taking the initiative and following up or persisting.” – Tony Robbins

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Perfect for graduation

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

 Mayr’s Author’s Page

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision and Curriculam Development (ASCD).