Ethics Speaker – Developing Organizations of Character
The word integrity is a combination of the latin words, integritas and integer, it refers to the putting on of armor, of building a completeness, a wholeness in character. Integrity, today, stands for honesty as well as an ideal, a goal for which to strive.
In the time of the twelve Caesars, the Roman army would conduct regular morning inspections. As the Centurion passed before each legionnaire, the soldier would strike the armor breastplate which covered his heart where the armor was the strongest. As he struck his armor, he would shout, “Integritas,” which means material wholeness. The inspecting Centurion would listen closely for the ring that sounded to be sure the soldier was adequately protected.
The elite Praetorians or imperial bodyguard had a different cry, “Hail Caesar!” which signified loyalty to their leader, but not to a code of ideals. A century passed; in order to distinguish themselves from the corrupted Praetorians, loyal legionnaires their shouted reply, “Integer!” which meant perfect and undiminished. The armor of integrity continued to serve them well, but by 383 A.D. with the breakdown of Roman society, discipline grew lax, the drills abandoned and breastplates and helmets removed as unnecessary encumbrances. Within a few short years, the legions were unable to hold the frontiers and rotted from within. It marked the end of an era, the greatness of the Roman Empire.
We cannot ignore the lessons of history. When a civilization’s moral code is disregarded and discipline abandoned, disaster inevitably follows. We stand at the brink of a full-scale corporate leadership crisis, unable to regain credibility or the public’s confidence. Scandal after scandal have dealt corporate America a devastating blow. How do we recover lost confidence and rebuild financial stability? Legislation alone will not solve the ethics deficit. Nothing short of a renewed vigilance in support of ethical standards will protect the future of free enterprise.
John Di Frances has lectured and written extensively on the topic of corporate ethics, his book Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground: Developing Organizations of Character examines the impact of character on the decisions we make and the resulting domino effect.
John provides business leaders with the tools they need to create an ethical standard within their organizations. He demonstrates the importance of a top-down commitment to excellent ethical character. Using three important keys, John outlines how organizations can successfully adopt and support effective ethical standards, thus developing an organization of character.
John is a veteran in the area of leadership development and has aided the coaching, mentoring, and leadership programs of various international organizations including the FBI Academy. He understands the pitfalls that can easily hinder even the best programs and shows how to navigate around them. As a keynote leadership speaker, John will demonstrate to your audiences the importance of ethical leadership and the methods by which ethical leadership can be developed.