Paul Fournier opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Jeff Benson offered an invocation.
Alan Player, an Apple valley Rotarian who visited us a year ago to promote their Education Foundation fundraiser, was here again to sell raffle tickets for an opportunity to win a Ford Focus.  Alan noted that last year's effort raised $39,000.
It was great to have George back to the club after successful opening of his completely blocked coronary artery.
Our speaker today was Jim Lukaszewski.  Jim is world renowned as a crisis manager, using his public relations expertise to guide organizations and their leaders through crisis to recovery.  Jim's topic for today's presentation was "The Ethical Expectations Leadership".  Jim began his talk with the story of a major medical products company that was indicted on several hundred felony charges, among which were illegal alteration of medical devices that resulted in two deaths and serious harm to several others.  This situation developed, as so many of them do, when an executive said “do whatever it takes” to keep sales up and costs down.  By the end of a six year legal process, six company executives were in jail and the company was forced to change its business climate, and Jim was a part of that process.  Jim offered the story to illustrate patterns of failed leadership behavior and inadequate or ineffective organizational response that often leads to these types of disasters. Here are some of the elements of these patterns:
  • When things go wrong in an organization, it generally starts at or near the top.
  • Top executives are very smart people who think they can "beat the rap".
  • Almost every ethical crisis requires that people are aware of the ethical problem, yet remain silent.
Jim suggested the following "Ethical Expectations of Leadership"
  • Find the truth as soon as possible.  Tell the truth and act on it as soon as possible.
  • Promptly raise the tough questions and answer them thoughtfully.
  • Vocalize core business values and ideals constantly.
  • Walk the talk
  • Help, expect and enforce ethical leadership
  • Foster ethical pathways for employees to to rise to the top of the organization.
  • Be a cheerleader, model and teacher of ethical behavior.
  • Make core values more important than profits.
You can check out Jim's website at  Paul and Jim are pictured below.