Tuesday, April 18, 2006

LEADERSHIP--What happens in Vegas?

What do Las Vegas and Jeffery Shilling have in common? Plenty. They both show a troubling lack of judgement...and from society's standpoint, a troubling lack of perspective.

You've seen the popular ad campaign, "What happens here, stays here." Las Vegas tourism has apparently abandoned its recent family-friendly makeover and gone back to the original Sin City image. It's promoting "situational ethics." And it's just as big a problem as the Enron scandal. But society accepts--even celebrates--the wild and crazy adventures of desperate housewives on a Vegas vacation but scorns and ridicules the accounting antics of a bunch of greedy executives. Why?

It's hypocritical to nudge and wink at the Vegas line and then point fingers when corporate managers break the universal code of ethics. By Las Vegas standards, Enron's slogan should be "What happens in the boardroom, stays in the boardroom." But somehow, everyone thinks they're two different situations. How could a little harmless fun away from home possibly compare with the magnitude of corruption visible in the Jeffery Shilling case?

Simple--if character is who you are when no one's looking, then it shouldn't matter what the situation is. Leadership demands a higher level of ethical behavior--whether you're the head of a major corporation or the head of the household. You don't get to pick and choose when--or where.

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