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“The most difficult aspect of teaching ethics is not separating right from wrong, but rather decisions involving right versus right. This books offers a framework for dealing with exactly these issues, which Joseph Badaracco labels "defining moments," since in the long term these moments will...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I love Badaracco. He uses philosophy (Nietzsche, Socrates, Machiavelli ...) and literature to analyse every day situations in search for leadership. In this book he explores the leadership of a young financial analyst, a middle manager and a CEO. They each are confronted with a tough decision and have the opportunity to show leadership. Leadership as smart, soft power. It's muddy, hard, personal, political work. This book is a perfect antidote to the heroic leadership stories or recipee books that are still so dominant. ”Koen Marichal wrote this review Saturday, October 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Full of complex arguments, followed by some insightful recommendations.”Wes Earnest wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“How to recognize and resolve ethical dilemmas when one faces a lot of "gray" and the right thing to do is not so obvious. ”Bruce Nilson wrote this review Friday, July 15, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The most difficult aspect of teaching ethics is not separating right from wrong, but rather decisions involving right versus right. This books offers a framework for dealing with exactly these issues, which Joseph Badaracco labels "defining moments," since in the long term these moments will shape your life and that of your organization. The book goes beyond the ethical theories of utilitarianism, Kant, virtue ethics, as well as vapid and broad corporate ethical policy statements. The author does a commendable job of challenging the famous Johnson & Johnson Credo with examples of when the company did not live up to the Credo.
The author draws on insights from Jean Paul Sartre, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Blaise Pascal, and Machiavelli, among others. He does this by weaving three case studies throughout the book wherein businesspeople face an ethical decision that is right versus right, presenting conflicting interests of stakeholders. By asking a series of questions you are guided to making the right choice.
This is not a simple framework, nor is it merely a checklist or decision tree you can easily use to come to a conclusion. In fact, the questions raise more questions than answers. They force you to wrestle with the issue and yourself, proving there is nothing easy about these types of decisions, let alone a "correct answer."
I thought about how I would teach this framework in our ethics course, and quite frankly, it would be highly challenging. It's a very reflective book, one I would recommend to anyone facing a serious right vs. right decision. It meanders a bit, there are things I don't agree with (like the author's shot at Milton Friedman, which I believe is out of context, not to mention that Friedman's famous article on the social responsibility of business is just that--couched in the language of responsibility to others, not merely making more profits).
I'll be thinking about the contents of this book for some time. It forces you to find your own way, which is highly valuable in these days of 7-step checklists full of common cliches. I appreciate how hard the author has thought about this topic, and the three case studies are very realistic. Overall, a very worthwhile read.”
“Such deep insights and useful guidelines. For those familiar with Ignatian spirituality, here's a more "secular" way of talking about discernment.”Johnny Go wrote this review Thursday, December 13, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No