Book review: The Power of Ethical Management by Norman Vincent Peale and Kenneth Blanchard

Nice guys may appear to finish last, but usually they’re running a different race

Kenneth Blanchard

Although this book was published quite a few years ago, it really stands the test of time.

I’ve long been a believer that working with solid ethical foundations is good for us as individuals and good for business.

All relationships are, to some degree, based on trust and we’re much more likely to trust people and organisations that act in trustworthy and accountable ways. But time and time again, we see cases making the headlines where people have acted in ways which seem entirely lacking in ethical conduct.

It’s perhaps too easy to point the finger at those people and say to ourselves that we would never act in such a way.

I think it’s worth trying to better understand what motivates people to behave in certain ways as only then can we try to improve things. We’d likely find that some of this motivation and influence will be the culture or ‘groupthink’ of our society and of our organisations.

Peale and Blanchard’s beautifully and engagingly written short book makes an easy but powerful read. It gives you lots of tools and tips to build a meaningful ethical approach into everyday life, regardless of context.

The main lesson of this being: people don’t have to cheat to win.

This is a timely reminder in a world of data protection and governance – if we treat data (and that means people!) fairly and ethically, it can lead to much better outcomes for everyone.

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