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Grappling with the Gray

Education Podcasts

Are you ethical? Only by investigating all sides and contemplating every angle can we improve ethical decision-making, build more trusting relationships, and help create a more ethical world. Join our panel of leaders and thinkers as we grapple with a new ethical challenge each week.

Location:

United States

Description:

Are you ethical? Only by investigating all sides and contemplating every angle can we improve ethical decision-making, build more trusting relationships, and help create a more ethical world. Join our panel of leaders and thinkers as we grapple with a new ethical challenge each week.

Language:

English

Contact:

3144895380


Episodes
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Grappling with the Gray #89: When the chips are down?

4/17/2024
When does fun and games become deceitful manipulation? That's the topic the ethics panel takes up when Paul Edwards, Catherine Fitzgerald, and Frank Zaccari join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our topic: A husband and wife are sitting on the couch watching TV. The wife hears her phone chirp, then realizes she left it in the kitchen. She goes to get the phone and checks to see who texted her. The message is from her husband: “Since you’re in the kitchen, please bring more chips and a beer when you come back.” Has the husband acted ethically? What should the wife do? Meet this week’s panelists: Paul Edwards used to drive large military vehicles through the deserts of the Middle East, armed with an assault rifle. Today, his occupation of ghostwriting requires him to ask questions first, and shoot later.” Catherine Fitzgerald is a speaker, writer, certified coach, and founder of BrassTacksWithHeart - Executive Coaching. She works with founders and their leaders as they navigate the choppy waters of aligning people, performance, and profits. Frank Zaccari is a Business and Organizational Development Expert, keynote speaker, TV and podcast host, 4X Amazon bestselling author, and Air Force veteran.

Duration:00:41:08

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Grappling with the Gray #88: What color is your collar?

4/10/2024
White collar vs. blue collar criminals: Who deserves to serve more time? That's the question the ethics panel takes up when JC Glick, 🔆 Anne Nevel, CAE, and Andre van Heerden join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our scenario: Last week, Joseph Tyler was sentenced to eight years in state prison and ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution to older Coloradans that he defrauded in a tree-trimming scam after pleading guilty to 51 counts of theft targeting at risk victims, a class three felony, and to theft, a class five felony. In other headlines, cryptocurrency CEO and billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried faces the possibility of 100 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement. According to claims, hundreds of thousands of investors suffered irreparable financial harm, which Bankman-Fried denies and for which he has expressed no remorse. Many compare him to Bernie Madoff, who received an effective life sentence for massive embezzlement and subsequently died in prison. Meanwhile, reports of unenforced shoplifting laws fill the headlines in cities across the U.S. A state prosecutor in Florida reportedly has a history of downgrading or dropping charges in serious criminal cases, resulting in released offenders committing more egregious crimes. (She was recently suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis.) In Chicago, a convicted felon awaiting trial for murder has been released with electronic surveillance, while a businessman with no criminal record has been held in solitary confinement for 18 months over a divorce dispute. On the one hand, we want white collar criminals to be held accountable, not merely get a slap on the wrist. On the other hand, there seems to be a disproportionate response showing more leniency to violent offenders. Inevitably, any perception of inequity undermines respect for the law, sows distrust in our judicial system, and contributes to a less stable society. How do we address the apparent inequities of justice in an effort to preserve or restore confidence in our systems? Meet this week’s panelists: JC Glick is a retired Army Ranger Lieutenant Colonel. He is a leadership, strategy, and culture advisor, as well as CEO of the Commit Foundation, an organization that helps high-performance veterans find their next adventure. Anne Nevel is the Vice President of Education for a trade association and enjoys connecting the right people to the right projects to promote successful collaboration and partnership. Andre van Heerden is Director of The Power of Integrity Ltd, drawing on the perspectives of history and philosophy to show how leadership drives performance by determining corporate culture.

Duration:00:39:41

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Grappling with the Gray #87: Untrusted and over-verified?

4/3/2024
Which is worse: suspicion or gullibility? And do we actually have to choose? Those are the questions that drive my conversation with the incomparable Cy Wakeman when she joins me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our topic: In a recent op ed posted in The Hill, Disaster Avoidance Expert Gleb Tsipursky writes: “In the brave new world of hybrid work, where the lines between office and home are blurred, employers are navigating uncharted waters. Some have resorted to a draconian approach, implementing surveillance measures to monitor their employees’ productivity.” Mr. Tsipursky goes on to describe how corporations such as JP Morgan and Barclays Bank seem to be suffering from “productivity paranoia,” leading them to track employee emails and even keystrokes. Is it working? According to Glassdoor, 41% of employees feel less productive while being closely monitored. And according to HBR, surveillance makes employees “substantially more likely to engage in various rule-breaking behaviors, such as taking unapproved breaks, disregarding instructions, damaging workplace property, and even stealing office equipment.” Apparently, the lack of trust makes people less trustworthy. It seems reasonable that employers want to ensure that employees are actually doing their jobs. So how can bosses and managers implement a trust-but-verify protocol that promotes worker integrity while avoiding the creation of a toxic culture? And what lessons can we take from these observations to help us have healthier relationships both in the office and outside of work as well? *** Cy Wakeman is a drama researcher, international leadership speaker, consultant, and founder of Reality-Based Leadership. She is the author of four books, including the NY Times Bestseller, The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier and, most recently, Life’s Messy, Live Happy. Described as “the secret weapon to restoring sanity to the workplace,” Cy was voted in the top 100 leadership professionals to follow on twitter for 7 years in a row. For the last three years, she has ranked #1 among the Global Gurus list of Top 30 Leadership Professionals across the globe.

Duration:01:00:32

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Grappling with the Gray #86: On a wing and a song?

3/27/2024
Passion is a good thing. Except, perhaps, when it's not. How can we tell where to draw the line? That's the question the ethics panel takes up when Toni McLelland MSc FRSA, Cathleen O’Sullivan, and Colin D Smith join me for a special transatlantic episode of Grappling with the Gray. Here is our topic: With Taylor Swift’s current Eras tour the most successful in history, it’s inevitable that many Swifties sometimes end up on the same flights headed for the same concerts. A recent viral TikTok video shows nearly the entire contingent of passengers, together with the flight attendants, joining in a sing-a-long at 40,000 feet. A few passengers, however, appear less than enthusiastic. In the comments, reactions were predictably mixed: One person wrote: “I feel bad for other passengers, especially those with sensory issues, claustrophobia, or anxiety disorders.” Another said, “I would seriously cry if I was on that plane – this is my worst fear.” Some referred to the flight as “torture” or “their personal hell,” joking that they would escape through the emergency exit if the sing-along happened to them. Here’s my personal favorite: “First I thought the plane was going down or something, then I realised they are just singing Taylor Swift and thought.. that's worse.” Clearly, the large majority of passengers were enjoying themselves. Does that give them the right to inflict discomfort on the minority? Or should the few nay-sayers just grin and bear it since so many others are getting so much pleasure from it? What about the flight attendants? Should they participate, try to shut it down, or simply remain neutral? And if it should be stopped, how should that be handled? Meet the panelists: Toni McLelland is Founder and Director of 1st Life Group. She is a Critical Friend & Business Mentor in Social Justice, Mobility & Impact leading sustainable change through DEIB & Compassion. Cathleen O’Sullivan is a leadership coach and host of the Legendary Leaders podcast. She helps female leaders grow their careers, their mindset, their confidence and sense of self-worth while enabling them to live a more balanced life that offers more time, more health and more fun! Colin Smith aka The Listener, works with leaders and professionals to improve the listening, thinking and relationships skills of individuals and teams.

Duration:00:32:56

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Grappling with the Gray #85: Free falling forward?

3/20/2024
Along with gun rights, border protection, and trans-athletes, one of our most contentious issues is Daylight Savings Time. That's the issue the ethics panel takes up when Jennifer H. Elder, CSP, CPA, Diane Helbig, and 🟦 Mark O'Brien join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our topic: It’s almost that time again. Get ready to set your clocks forward an hour. Or is it back an hour? Some people love daylight savings time. Some people hate it. And some people don’t care, don’t see what the point is, or just don’t like the semi-annual ritual of changing the clocks. In March, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Standard Time Act, putting daylight savings time into effect for the first time in the U.S. to save energy costs during WWI. In February 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt did the same thing. When the 1973 oil embargo hit, President Richard Nixon signed year-round DST into law, hoping to ease the national gas crisis. The time change proved unpopular. According to NBC News, Eight Florida children died in traffic accidents that were linked to the time change, which was reversed in October 1974 by President Gerald Ford. Two years ago, Senator Marco Rubio introduced the Sunshine Act in an effort to make DST permanent once again. And once again, there was great debate. What are the ethical questions involved in changing the clocks, especially given that the 24 hour clock seems an arbitrary construct? Arguments that DST saves energy usage and saves lives on the highway are widely contested, and the benefits for agricultural work are similarly unclear, especially in our age of mechanization. Is this all much ado about nothing, or is there really a compelling argument one way or the other? How do we approach the issue in a way that takes all views into account? Meet this week’s panelists: Jennifer Elder is a CPA and Certified Speaking Professional who helps leaders future-proof their businesses by making smart decisions and staying ethical. Diane Helbig is Chief Improvement Catalyzer at Helbig Enterprises, providing guidance and training to business owners and leaders around the world. Mark O’Brien is founder and principal of O’Brien Communications Group, a B2B brand-management and marketing-communications firm — and host of The Anxious Voyage, a syndicated radio show about life’s trials and triumphs.

Duration:00:42:19

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Grappling with the Gray #84: Changing lanes?

3/13/2024
If life isn't fair, should we stop trying? That question underlies this episode's topic as Deb Coviello The Drop In CEO™, 🟦 Melissa Hughes, Ph.D., and John E. McGlothlin join the the ethics panel to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our challenge: Since the topic of transgender rights has become widespread, the debate over biological men competing in women’s sports has become heated, to say the least. Lia Thomas, a 6’ 1” biological man who identifies as a woman, won an NCAA Division I national championship, after tying for fifth in a different meet against Riley Gaines, a biological woman who was the 2022 Southeastern Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Presumably, the reason for the existence of men’s and women’s sports is because of the recognition that men on average have greater size, strength, and muscle mass that give them an advantage over women. Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams, arguably the two greatest women tennis players in history, have both stated that they would be unable to compete successfully against men. So what is the rationale for continuing the separation of sexes in sports if biological men can choose to compete as women based on self-identification? In a recent article in Forbes, Oregon State University women & gender studies professor Susan M. Shaw proposes that, instead of gender divisions, athletics might be divided according to weight, as boxing and wrestling already are. Is this a practical solution? What about team sports like basketball and football, where different body types are suited to different positions on the same team? And isn’t sports by definition inherently unfair, since stronger, more coordinated players have an automatic advantage over others? What about locker rooms? Many female swimmers have complained that the presence of biological men is deeply offensive and threatening while they change in and out of their sportswear. Do the same arguments that applies on the playing field apply equally in the changing room? Meet this week’s panelists: Deb Coviello, aka the Drop in CEO, is an author, speaker, podcast host, and silver medalist curler who coaches C-Suite leaders of today and tomorrow to navigate challenges with confidence. Melissa Hughes is Founder and Principal of the Andrick Group, applying recent brain research to improve employee engagement, company culture, team dynamics, and innovation. John E. McGlothlin is a captain in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps and D.C. army reserve, as well as an adjunct professor of business and ethics at the University of Maryland Global Campus. #ethics #culture #gender #society #values #grappling

Duration:00:44:10

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Grappling with the Gray #83: Out through the in-door?

3/6/2024
Can ethical standards be too high? That's the question the ethics panel takes up when Marcus Aurelius Anderson, David Marlow, and Jason Todd join me to Grapple with the Gray. Please join us live! Here is our topic: I was getting off a plane after a trip to the east coast, when a neighbor on the same flight offered me a ride home. I heard him call his son-in-law, whom he told to meet us at departures. “Why are you having him come to departures?” I asked. “There’s less traffic there,” he replied. “It’s easier to get in and out quickly.” I immediately felt uncomfortable. Kantian ethics teaches us to project from the individual to the universal. What if everyone used the same trick to avoid traffic? By adding to the congestion at departures, we’d be making it harder for departing passengers to get to their flights. I considered saying something, but he had already hung up the phone, he was doing me a favor, and I questioned whether he would take my objections to heart. However, reflecting that catastrophic ethical blindness often begins with tiny moral compromises, I regretted not speaking up. We should set our ethical standards higher, both for ourselves and because when others see us cutting ethical corners, we give them license to take similar shortcuts, thereby contributing to the erosion of ethical sensitivity in our society. So to what degree should we apply the same standards we set for ourselves to others? Should we speak up in defense of them? And if we do, how do we avoid sounding sanctimonious or, in this case, ungrateful? Meet this week’s panelists: Marcus Aurelius Anderson is a Leadership and Executive Catalyst, TEDx and International Keynote Speaker, Author of "The Gift of Adversity", Host of ACTA NON VERBA Podcast, winner of Arete Syndicate “Create a Positive Impact” award. David Marlow, aka the Ikigai Guy and the Versatile Guru, is a coach, speaker, and author who helps people live into their purpose and helps companies bring their purpose to their products and their people. Jason Todd is a serial entrepreneur who empowers others through insightful books, engaging talks, and over 500 podcast episodes. He partners with founders, guiding them to business growth, personal fulfillment, and a sustainable, successful future. #ethics #values #culture #mindset #accountability #grappling

Duration:00:42:06

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Grappling with the Gray #82: Guilty on all counts?

2/28/2024
How far can we ethically stretch the letter of the law in an effort to fulfil the spirit of the law? That's the question the panel takes up on this episode of Grappling with the Gray. Here is our topic: Last week, Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter for her role in her 15 year old son Ethan’s murder of four classmates in a November 2021 shooting. Ethan pled guilty in 2022 and received a life sentence with no chance of parole. This was the first time manslaughter charges were ever brought against anyone other than the actual perpetrator. Prosecutor Karen McDonald devised a “novel legal theory,” stretching the conventional application of the law in a way that her own legal team warned her was a “huge risk.” She seems to have been motivated by the belief that if parents know they can be imprisoned for their children’s crimes, they will take more responsibility for their children to prevent horrific mass shootings from happening. In contrast to some other states, like Texas, Michigan law does not distinguish between involuntary manslaughter and criminal negligence – the former being active and the latter being passive. Consequently, the prosecutor had to choose whether to bend the accepted understanding of the law or settle for pursuing a lesser charge carrying a much reduced sentence. Does it set a dangerous precedent for a prosecutor to reinterpret the law to work around lawmakers’ failure to legislate proportionate responses that serves as an effective deterrent? Is it fair to Jennifer Crumbley to be made an example of when parents of worse shooters were given a pass or a slap on the wrist? And isn’t there something incongruous about convicting a parent for a child’s crime while simultaneously trying and convicting the child as an adult? Finally, is it possible to differentiate between one kind of judicial activism that fills necessary holes in the system and another kind that reflects the personal bias of court officials and potentially undermines the integrity of the law? Meet this week’s panelists: Ed Brenegar is Founder and Chief of Circle of Impact, LLC, teaching people to think for themselves, to act on their own initiative and to become people of impact within their organizations, communities, and institutions. Cris Parker once again joins us from Sydney, Australia. She is Head of The Ethics Alliance, a community of organizations across sectors that are connected through The Ethics Centre, providing ethics-based counseling, consulting and education programs. Stewart Wiggins joins us from Paris. He is Chief Advisor at Induna Advisors, working to significantly increase company revenue by developing positive client reports and establishing solid business relationships. hashtag #ethics hashtag #justice hashtag #culture

Duration:00:46:13

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Grappling with the Gray #81: Whose fault is our default?

2/21/2024
Are we making ourselves more cynical? If so, what is the cost? Those are the questions the ethics panel takes up on this episode of Grappling with the Gray. Here is our scenario: The rapper known as Killer Mike walked out of the Grammy Awards in handcuffs earlier this week. Reportedly, he was charged with misdemeanor assault and released on zero bail. The choice of LAPD to arrest him as he was leaving the award ceremony is curious. Did they use the knowledge of his attendance to make it easier to find him, or did they delay his arrest so he could enjoy his moment in the sun winning three Grammys? The answer to that question may be less important than our motivation for asking it? Because the real story here might be the optics of Killer Mike’s arrest rather than the arrest itself. As society becomes less ethical, we become less trustful of celebrities, leaders, and institutions. Recurring scandals, many of them egregious but many others overblown by the media, incline us to attribute nefarious motives to almost any story that makes headlines. There’s no question that the perception of an unethical culture encourages people to act less ethically. But has our ethical default setting changed in recent times? Has it always been this challenging to internalize and act according to ethical principles, or does acting ethically demand a more herculean effort than it once did? And if current cultural norms are making it easy for us to defend and excuse unethical behavior, what can we do about it individually and collectively? Meet this week’s panelists: Mark Herschberg is Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer of Zereo.ai. He is a professional speaker and creator of Brain Bump, a free app that helps consumers of non-fiction content better access and retain what they learn. Dr. Robyn Odegaard is known as the Mental MacGyver. She provides luxury level, high performance support and coaching to executives, founders, celebrities and athletes. She is also the creator and facilitator of the Quick Hits podcast. K Kimi Hirotsu Ziemski is Founder of KSP Partnership, providing project management and project leadership courses and workshops to improve team dynamics and communications. #ethics #culture #trust #communication #grappling

Duration:00:47:27

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Grappling with the Gray #80: Repaying bad with good?

2/14/2024
Bruce Wayne tells Rachel Dawes that revenge and justice can be the same. Rachel replies: "No, they're never the same, Bruce. Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better." Is there ever an exception? That's the question the ethics panel takes up on this episode of Grappling with the Gray. The following is a quote from ABC news online: Three days after a jury awarded her over $83 million for Donald Trump's repeated defamatory statements, columnist E. Jean Carroll vowed to use the money on "something Donald Trump hates." "If it'll cause him pain for me to give money to certain things, that's my intent," Carroll told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America," suggesting she would create a "fund for the women who have been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump." Without discussing the case, the decision, or the former president, how are we to evaluate the ethics of using restitution money for the expressed purpose of inflicting pain on the accused, or of withholding aid to victims of other perpetrators? Presumably, anyone would find it admirable that Ms. Carroll intends using the money to help women who are victims of sexual assault. But is she essentially weaponizing the money to further punish a defendant already punished by the decision itself and, by doing so, depriving women victimized by other attackers of support they might desperately need? Meet this week’s panelists: Tim Hawkes is managing director of Unlimited Potential Coaching Specialists in the UK and director of global operations. He is an international speaker and works with organizations to develop organizational culture. Sarah Kalmeta, aka Sarah the Pivoter, is a speaker, author and relentless truthseeker. She is founder of Pivot Point International, a high performance consulting company. Jolanta Pomiotlo is Vice President of Information Technology for EXSIF Worldwide who manages innovative initiatives aimed at reducing operating costs, improving profit, and growing revenue.

Duration:00:37:10

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Grappling with the Gray #78: In the Secretary's defense?

1/31/2024
Does the appearance of chaos promote chaos? That's the question the ethics panel takes up this episode of Grappling with the Gray. Here is our topic: The recent disappearance of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from the White House chain of command sent tremors through Washington and the country. On January 2, shortly after returning home from an apparently successful procedure, the secretary experienced unexpected pain and returned to the hospital. Pentagon officials were informed the secretary has been hospitalized, and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, on vacation in Puerto Rico, was informed she would be assuming additional duties but was not informed of the secretary’s hospitalization. Throughout this period, the National Security Council, Defense Department and State Department were formulating a response to a military threat from Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, which culminated in a retaliatory strike on Baghdad on January 4, the same day President Biden was informed that Secretary Austin was back in the hospital. According to some experts, there was never a significant breakdown in the chain of command. Former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta agrees, but adds that there is a need for a more formally defined policy to ensure clear communication. According to Mr. Panetta, the administration “dodged a bullet.” Even if we assume no harm, no foul, does the appearance of disorganization create a sense of insecurity among the American people, embolden our enemies, and create the potential for self-fulfilling prophecy? Even when there are no immediate consequences, don’t avoidable blunders project a lack of competence that can accelerate the erosion of standards? Or are occasional errors inevitable and excusable, as long as they serve to shore up lapses in procedural policy? Meet this week’s panelists: JC Glick is a retired Army Ranger Lieutenant Colonel. He is a leadership, strategy, and culture advisor, as well as an author and TEDx speaker. Mark O’Brien is founder and principal of O’Brien Communications Group, a B2B brand-management and marketing-communications firm — and host of The Anxious Voyage, a syndicated radio show about life’s trials and triumphs. Peter Winick works with individuals and organizations to build and grow revenue streams through their thought leadership platforms and is host of the Leveraging Thought Leadership podcast.

Duration:00:39:24

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Grappling with the Gray #79: Some victims are more equal than others?

1/31/2024
Is doing something half-right better than not doing it at all? Or can selectively excluding good not only negate but overpower the benefit of what's included? That's the dilemma the ethics panel takes up when Christopher Bauer, Catherine Fitzgerald, and Scott Mason join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our topic: The following is taken from the About page on the Hostage Aid Worldwide website: “Hostage Aid is a non-profit NGO established by a group of former hostages from around the world, families of hostages and subject matter experts, all of whom, based on their different personal experiences as well as suffering, have banded together to fight for the release of hostages globally while aiming to prevent this inhumane act of hostage taking from occurring against other innocent people.” Bravo! Who could argue with that? What follows next is from the same organization’s Global Hostage Report 2023: “Year 2023 was the most drastically eventful year for hostages and unlawfully detained persons globally since 1979, the most significant event being the Hamas attack on Israel. On October 7, Hamas militants and other Palestinian militant factions abducted around 125 foreigners and dual nationals from more than 20 different countries, to the Gaza Strip.” You may remember that the number of hostages taken by Hamas was over 240. So how did Hostage Aid arrive at their count of 125? By excluding Israeli captives, most of whom were civilians, many of whom were women, children, and the elderly. Even if the leaders of Hostage Aid agree with South Africa’s assertion that the Hamas attack of October 7 was justified as an act of resistance, how are we to explain the thinking that allows an organization devoted to “to providing humanitarian relief and support to current and former hostages” to ignore the largest group of hostages currently being held against their will? https://hostageaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Hostage-Aid-Global-Hostage-Report-2023-January-16-Update.pdf Meet this week’s panelists: Christopher Bauer is a Speaker, Author, and Consultant on Ethics, Compliance, and Accountability. Catherine Fitzgerald is a speaker, writer, certified coach, and founder of BrassTacksWithHeart - Executive Coaching. She works with C-level leaders and their teams as they navigate the choppy waters of aligning people, performance, and profits. Scott Mason, aka the Myth Slayer, is a speaker, podcast host, and coach working with executives and entrepreneurs to Magnetize & Monetize Professional Freedom by Dislodging Toxic Myths to Ignite the Charisma Within.

Duration:00:40:01

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Grappling with the Gray #77: Not for public consumption?

1/24/2024
Is there ever such a thing as too much transparency, too much disclosure, or too much open information? That's the subject the ethics panel takes up when Sam Ardery and Jennifer Elder join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our ethics challenge: As of January 1, a new Florida law requires city officials to report their assets, liabilities, sources of income and net worth, the same disclosures previously required of state legislators, county commissioners, school board members, sheriffs, and other constitutional officers. In response, dozens of city officials have resigned, citing reasons ranging from health concerns to opposing the invasion of their privacy. The law, however, is an application of the Sunshine Amendment, which begins by stating the principle that ‘A public office is a public trust.’ We can probably all agree that transparency is a good thing, but is there a line between how much disclosure is enough and how much is too much? Presidential administrations have been accused of weaponizing the IRS to harass political opponents with trivial or fabricated offenses by exploiting public information. Moreover, does demanding disclosure to ensure trust communicate a mixed message that officials aren’t trustworthy? Aren’t public figures entitled to some measure of privacy in their personal lives? A recent NY Times op ed met with widespread criticism for speculating about Taylor Swift’s sexuality. We’ve come to take it for granted that outrageous treatment in the tabloids is the price of fame, but is that fair to celebrities, and is it healthy for society? Of course we want public officials to be accountable for their financial and professional conduct. But if they feel their privacy is being unduly invaded, will that not discourage otherwise viable candidates from electing to serve the common good? How do we gauge the point at which notoriety or public service carries an implicit acceptance of diminished personal privacy? Meet this week’s panelists: Sam Ardery is a national mediator, trial lawyer, consultant, speaker, and author. He teaches negotiation at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law and is author of Positively Conflicted: Engaging with Courage, Compassion and Wisdom in a Combative World. Jennifer H. Elder, is a CPA and Certified Speaking Professional who helps leaders future-proof their businesses by making smart decisions and staying ethical. #ethics #politics #culture #leadership #accountability #grappling

Duration:00:42:18

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Grappling with the Gray #76: No one left to speak?

1/17/2024
🥷You've learned about the horrors of Auschwitz. 🥷You've read about the atrocities of October 7. 🥷You've watched the recent rise of Anti-Semitism in the US and around the world. You want to do something. But what can you do? After all you're just one person. And maybe you're not even Jewish. That's why you don't want to miss my conversation with 🟦 Melissa Hughes, Ph.D. Melissa is my hero. She's a non-Jew who has been fighting a one-woman war against anti-Semitism. And she stepped onto the field of battle months before October 7 was a date to remember. Melissa is an inspiration to all of us who think we can't make a difference. And she tells a cautionary tale about how doing the right thing often carries unexpected consequences. But the consequences are much worse when we wait for someone else to stand up and speak out. Please join us for a riveting session not only Grappling but also Wrestling with the Gray.

Duration:01:00:30

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Grappling with the Gray #75: Should I stay or should I go?

1/10/2024
Is saying "I'm sorry" sometimes not enough? Should we say we're sorry when we're not? What if we're not sorry when we should be? These are some of the questions the ethics panel will take up this Wednesday at 5:00 pm ET when Mark Brown, CSP, Deb Coviello, and Kimberly Davis join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our topic? Days after a highly charged appearance before a Congressional hearing, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned under pressure after she refused to condemn anti-Semitism and genocidal slogans as violations of her school’s rules of conduct, despite offering a public apology. Curiously, the presidents of Harvard and MIT, who gave virtually identical testimony at the same hearing, have received overwhelming support from their boards and faculty. Meanwhile, wealthy alumni are withdrawing their support in droves. It’s hard to imagine that the three presidents did not confer with one another prior to the hearing, since they all gave the same answers, almost verbatim. For President Magill, at least, that seems to have been inadequate preparation. How might she have better prepared herself for the hearing that went so awry? And what are we to make of the radically divergent reactions among three similar university communities? Do the responses of MIT and Harvard appear to be really about core principles or more about territorial autonomy and political posturing? In general, how should leaders respond when their comments or behavior creates unexpected controversy? When and how can leaders recover from mistakes and when are they fatal to future effective leadership? Meet this week’s panelists: Mark Brown, CSP is a world champion speaker, an executive coach, and an artificial intelligence software advisor. Deb Coviello The Drop In CEO™ Coviello, aka the Drop in CEO, is an author, speaker, podcast host, and silver medalist curler who coaches C-Suite leaders of today and tomorrow to navigate challenges with confidence. Kimberly Davis is an author, TEDx speaker, and founder of the Brave Leadership University, leading development programs world-wide, around authentic leadership, purpose, presence, and influence. #ethics #integrity #leadership #education #grappling

Duration:00:33:55

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Grappling with the Gray #74: The principle paradox?

12/20/2023
Are some topic too hot to discuss? Not when we're Grappling with the Gray, they're not. This is the challenge the ethics panel takes up when Jennifer Elder, Mark O'Brien, and Stewart Wiggins join me to confront the clash between professional responsibility and personal conviction. Here is our topic: In the infamous 1857 Dred Scott case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that a slave could not sue for freedom because slaves were not citizens but essentially property. Under the law, this was an entirely defensible position. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney personally opposed slavery; he even freed slaves he himself inherited. But he also believed the law was clear and that, as a justice of the court, he had a legal and moral obligation to interpret the law as it was written, regardless of whether he agreed with it or not. Legal historians have largely cast the decision as villainous. But is it not a recipe for anarchy when government officers act according to their conscience rather than according to the law? In 2015, a Kentucky county clerk refused to issue a same sex marriage license claiming that it violated her religious values. In 2017, acting Attorney General Sally Yates refused to defend an executive order imposing a temporary ban on refugees from countries connected with terrorist activity. Some legal authorities argued that Ms. Yates did not provide adequate justification for her refusal, failing to demonstrate or even claim that the order was unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, the same conservatives who applauded the Kentucky clerk for her act of conscience castigated Ms. Yates for hers; and the same liberals who cheered on Ms. Yates were outraged by the Kentucky clerk’s contempt for the law. And for years, metropolitan mayors around the country have established sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. We acknowledge the legitimacy of exempting conscientious objectors from fighting in war. Are public servants entitled to the same consideration? If so, how do we ensure that acting according to conscience does not contribute to a total breakdown of the rule of law? Meet this week’s panelists: Jennifer H. Elder, is a CPA and Certified Speaking Professional who helps leaders future-proof their businesses by making smart decisions and staying ethical. 🟦 Mark O'Brien is founder and principal of O’Brien Communications Group, a B2B brand-management and marketing-communications firm — and host of The Anxious Voyage, a syndicated radio show about life’s trials and triumphs. Stewart Wiggins is Chief Advisor at Induna Advisors, working to significantly increase company revenue by developing positive client reports and establishing solid business relationships. #ethics #culture #values #accounability #justice #grappling #yonasongoldson #rabbigoldson #therabbi #grapplingwiththegray

Duration:00:42:05

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Grappling with the Gray #73: No such thing as a free lunch?

12/13/2023
🥷How to we resolve the tension between outcome and intention? 🥷How much does it mean to mean well if what we mean never materializes? 🥷How much is enough if we know we can't do it all? These are some of the questions the ethics panel will address when Rashmi Airan, Nick Gallo, and Laura Elizabeth Gray join me to Grapple with the Gray. Here is our scenario: You schedule a business lunch with a colleague or prospect. After five minutes of talking business, the conversation drifts into personal chatting and schmoozing. You have a nice time but never get back to business. Since you intended this to be a business meeting and did discuss some business, is there anything wrong with submitting the cost of lunch as a business expense? Would it make a difference if you spent half the time on business, or 75%, or 99%? What about the ethics of doing business with companies that outsource to countries without child labor laws or guilty of human rights violations? What about buying products that aren’t ethically sourced? If we demand 100% ethics from others, are we not effectively cutting ourselves off from doing business? How do we accommodate the need for realistic standards in choosing business partners without compromising our own ethical integrity? Meet this week’s panelists: Rashmi Airan is a keynote speaker and consultant determined to create organizational cultures focused on integrity, authenticity, and accountability. Nick Gallo, aka the Ethics Evangelist, is CEO of Compliance Line, as well as creator and host of The Ethics Experts podcast. Laura Gray is a Passionate People Connector, Columnist, Author, and Development Director of The ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter. hashtag #ethics hashtag #culture hashtag #accountability hashtag #mindset hashtag #grappling

Duration:00:38:03

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Grappling with the Gray #72: Talking Turkey and Humble Pie?

12/6/2023
When protestors respond to reasonable questions about their causes with, "Why does it matter?" isn't it long past time that we addressed the failings of our education system? Tune in this Wednesday here on LinkedIn Live at 5:00 pm ET when Diane Helbig, Brian Kelly, and K Kimi Hirotsu Ziemski join the ethics panel for another episode of Grappling with the Gray. Here is our topic: Thanksgiving has become a complicated holiday: many seem to feel that either we whitewash offenses against Indigenous peoples or scrap Thanksgiving altogether. But isn’t it a sign of maturity to express appreciation for the good while also acknowledging and taking responsibility for the bad? Isn’t it the job of education to teach young people the skills to navigate the complexities of history and moral dilemmas? The recent viral spread of Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” has driven home what many critics of education have railed against for years. Carefully selected excerpts disseminated on TikTok have filled an information vacuum among young people who have been denied basic knowledge and critical reasoning skills to understand the context and significance of history’s worst terror attack against the United States. Another popular video showed a young man soliciting signatures on a college campus to support the Hamas charter. Students eagerly agreed to sign. Thankfully, when they were told what the charter contained, they quickly recanted their support. But why did they not first ask to read what they were signing? One young woman chanting from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free, was asked: “Which river?” Her reply: “What difference does it make?” It is encouraging how many contributors have withdrawn their financial support after the recent wave of anti-Semitic violence on many college campuses. But aside from being outraged, what practical steps can we take to address the culture of ignorance and superficiality that is spreading through our society? Meet this week’s panelists: Diane Helbig is Chief Improvement Catalyzer at Helbig Enterprises, providing guidance and training to business owners and leaders around the world. Brian Kelly is the CEO and Founder at Human Factors Consulting, LLC. He is an optimistic rebel, committed to humanizing leadership, relationships and workplaces by creating the conditions for people to thrive so your business can, too. K Kimi Hirotsu Ziemski is Founder of KSP Partnership, providing project management and project leadership courses and workshops to improve team dynamics and communications. hashtag #ethics hashtag #culture hashtag #education

Duration:00:42:11

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Grappling with the Gray #71: Stay in your aisle?

11/29/2023
🥷Should we draw a line between business practices and political activism? 🥷Should we keep our personal views out of the boardroom and off the billboards? 🥷Is it proper to use a business platform to support a social agenda that is not universally held? Tune into LinkedIn Live when the ethics panel convenes at a special time for a special transatlantic episode Grappling with the Gray. On recent panels, we’ve discussed objective reporting vs. editorial activism in the newsroom and freedom of speech vs. irresponsible rhetoric on college campuses. There’s a similar tension facing companies when they wade into the social and political arena. A variety of companies have come under fire for their choice of spokespeople, their support of public or international policy, and their partnership with celebrities who may hold controversial or polarizing views. Without getting into the weeds about specific controversies, what is there to say about businesses taking positions on hot-button issues? On the one hand, don’t those with power and influence have a responsibility to advocate for equality and justice? On the other hand, since so many issues are complex, nuanced, and highly emotional, should businesses just mind their own business and leave social change to others? As a consumer, is it practical, realistic, or even proper to expect businesses to remain neutral on social issues? Since we can’t agree on everything, at what point should I seriously consider boycotting businesses because of their political or social stance, even when I’m inconveniencing myself by doing so? Meet this week’s panelists: Pascal Derrien is CEO of Migraine Ireland, a registered charity dedicated to empowering migraineurs by providing innovative services through education, information and outreach programs. 🟦 Carolyn Lebanowski Strategic Leadership Partner with The Institute for Leadership and LifeLong Learning International, as well as a columnist at BIZCATALYST 360. Toni McLelland MSc FRSA is Founder and Director of 1st Life Group. She is a Critical Friend & Business Mentor in Social Justice, Mobility & Impact leading sustainable change through DEIB & Compassion.

Duration:00:37:25

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Grappling with the Gray #70: The Final Frontier?

11/22/2023
Should we look to the stars to solve our problems, or do we already have enough to deal with here on earth? The ethics of space pioneering is the subject of my conversation with NASA program director Michael Ciannilli. As children, virtually all of us are enamored with the idea of space flight. As we get older, however, we may lose our youthful enthusiasm as we contemplate the ethical questions space exploration raises. Should we be spending millions of dollars collecting sand on Mars when we have so many problems here on earth? Should we be risking astronauts’ lives on glamorous missions, and now civilian lives as space tourism becomes more popular? What about the dangers of space debris, of too many low earth orbit satellites, of infecting other planets with microorganisms? What about commercialization of space activities, the militarization of space, and the influence of partisan politics on the decision guiding our space programs? Obviously, we don’t have time to tackle all these issues. But what systems are in place to address the ethics of space travel? And what are some fundamental values, principles, and mindsets that govern the decision-making of space exploration? Meet this week's very special guest: Michael Ciannilli is the Apollo, Challenger, Columbia Lessons Learned Program Manager at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where he develops innovative events, media productions, and activities to powerfully enshrine the lessons of failure to influence future success. Prior to this role, Mike served as Test Project Engineer and systems engineer for the Space Shuttle Program. In 2003, he spent weeks searching in a helicopter over the skies of Texas finding and bringing home Columbia and her crew. #ethics #spaceexploration #nasa #perspective #grappling

Duration:00:46:46