Ethics Matter! - Summer 2014 NCLGBA Conference Presentation


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Ethics Matter! - Summer 2014 NCLGBA Conference Presentation

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Ethics Matter! - Summer 2014 NCLGBA Conference Presentation

  1. 1. Ethics Matter! NCLGBA Summer Conference July 2014
  2. 2. Key to ethics
  3. 3. Why Ethics Matters
  4. 4. What Is Ethics?  The standard of conduct expected at work ...not The law My personal beliefs Just what the community expects  Choices and use of discretion matter  Right values , right way, right outcome
  5. 5. Core Public Service Values ■ Equity ■ Transparency and trust ■ Honor ■ Integrity ■ Commitment ■ Stewardship
  6. 6. Values in action • Be fair and impartial in decisions • Respect and protect public assets • Communicate clearly and truthfully • Personal and professional conduct merits trust • Avoid conflicts of interest
  7. 7. Common Conflicts of Interest • Buying city or county property • Personal work with vendors or individuals who do work for the city/county • Your adult child is applying for a position with the county • You are seeking employment with a firm that may bid on a county project • You are having conversations about future employment with a developer whose project is in the approval pipeline • You recommend a personal friend for a consulting project
  8. 8. Values in action • Don’t leverage your office for personal gain • Gifts….
  9. 9. Gifts: Free Cheese in A Mousetrap
  10. 10. Former CEO of CalPERS pleads guilty to fraud, corruption charge “A former chief executive of the country's biggest public pension fund admitted that he took more than $250,000 in bribes and other valuable gifts from a friend and co-defendant in an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the pension investment world five years ago.”
  11. 11. “Report Puts City Among Elite Group of Frauds” “A culture of obfuscation and denial so corrupted San Diego's financial management that its meltdown reached the historic levels of such poster children of governmental and corporate malfeasance as Orange County, Enron and WorldCom, according to a long-awaited report released Tuesday.” August 2006
  12. 12. The leader’s responsibility 1. Your personal conduct 2. What others did that you knew about 3. What others did that you didn’t know about
  13. 13. Fundamentals of Leadership • Adaptive Capacity • Ability to engage others through shared meaning • A distinctive voice • Unshakeable integrity Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas Leading for a Lifetime
  14. 14. The Integrity Tripod Balancing of ambition, competence, and moral compass Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas, Leading for a Lifetime
  15. 15. The Good Leader “Being seen as someone who can be trusted, who has high integrity, and who is honest and truthful is essential.” James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner A Leader’s Legacy
  16. 16. How to measure your trustworthiness • Is my behavior predictable or erratic? • Do I communicate clearly or carelessly? • Do I treat promises seriously or lightly? • Am I forthright or dishonest? James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner A Leader’s Legacy
  17. 17. Preserve the Intangible “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffett
  18. 18. Leadership Matters Who inspires you? Who do you inspire?
  19. 19. The Ethical Challenge • Lack of reflection results in failure to identify an ethical challenge • Don’t evaluate impact of alternatives • You can easily “fool yourself” when facing an ethical challenge • Lack a leader who believes in ethical decision making? The organization will not act ethically.
  20. 20. The Ethical Challenge • Culture matters! • What is and is not informally talked about is important • What conduct/behavior do we reward? • I’m not the problem, you are! • Decision makers commonly engage in unethical behavior without realizing it. The struggle between “want” and “should”
  21. 21. We all have blind spots “When it comes time to make a decision, our thoughts are dominated by thoughts of how we want to behave; thoughts of how we should behave disappear.” Max H. Bazerman & Ann E. Tenbrunsel, “Blind Spots”
  22. 22. If the deal sounds too good to be true…. County manager purchased 4 iPhones and 1 iPad for $900…. in cash paid to county IT director • “Everyone knew about it” • “Ok because all county employees could do this” • “We’ve done it before” • “I trusted her” Equipment was charged to county ($2400) and the IT director pocketed the cash!
  23. 23. No Filters
  24. 24. Common Mistakes • Inappropriate travel expenses • Unfiltered Facebook, twitter, email • Failure to see/disclose conflicts of interest • Gossiping about city or county matters • Ignoring policy • Misusing public resources • Misusing private resources • DUI… while texting • Mixed messages
  25. 25. What message does this send?
  26. 26. Or this?
  27. 27. Six Steps to an Ethical Decision The Law: Is it legal? Does it meet the spirit of the law? The Rules: Am I violating a policy/breaking a rule that everyone else must follow? Integrity: Am I breaking my word, a trust, a promise, or a value? Appearances: Do I have a conflict of interest in fact or appearance? Am I the only or prime beneficiary of an offer or service? Clear Thinking: Is emotion or bias clouding my judgment? Perspective : Is this my finest hour or one I might regret?
  28. 28. The Ethics Challenge
  29. 29. Make Your Organization a Shining Example of Ethical Conduct!
  30. 30. Or not!
  31. 31. Leaders….  Set the tone Model the conduct you want to see in others You are always on active duty Don’t walk by something wrong Don’t create ethical dilemmas for others  Take action to champion ethical behavior  Test how we are doing…relentless focus  Moral Compass points North
  32. 32. Where is true north???
  33. 33. • What did you know? • When did you know it? • What did you do about it? When An Ethical Problem Comes to Light, Be Ready to Answer……
  34. 34. Ask Yourself • Can you live with your Google legacy when it hits the media? • Are you being candid or just answering the question asked? • Will you think well of yourself when you look back on this decision in ten years? • Is it keeping you up at night? If you have to think twice about it, don’t do it?
  35. 35. The Last Word There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, And that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all. Ogden Nash