Posted in leadership, spiritual/religious

Ethics and Morality



“Mankind are very odd creatures. One half censure what they practice, the other half practices what they censure; the rest always say and do as they ought.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Ethics is defined by John Steinbeck via one of his characters who had to choose how to rule: When he begins to rule, he immediately faces questions of good versus bad, having to pick among the best of the bad choices, and having to compromise on what he wants to do or what he feels it right. He asks a trusted advisor, “What is a person to do?” His advisor replies that one usually does what one is.”

As a public servant, you will be tested. You will have to carry out orders that you believe to be wrong or unfair, and you will be asked to compromise your own integrity in order to further your career. How you handle these situations as a subordinate will shape the kind of leader you will become.

What leaders sow, they will harvest. How each government employee acts is essential to the outcome of the American government as a whole.

Every once in a while we will face a crisis that will test our deepest convictions about the system of our government. It will be easier for leaders to face this crisis if they have worked out their own ethical standards ahead of the time crisis.

Quoting Maslow the author discusses how there is in intrinsic conscience in our core that serves as a court of appeals for good and bad. There will always be a feeling of uncomfortableness that should be recognized as an alarm. Each time we conduct an act against our inner core, it is recorded in our unconsciousness and we begin to despise ourselves.


Cite: Ashworth, Kenneth (2001) CAUGHT BETWEEN THE DOG AND THE FIREPLUG: or How to Survive Public Service, Washington, DC, Georgetown University Press



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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