There is no question that the current climate has prompted many more companies to tackle ethics issues. Many are making a set of moral values a part of their corporate cultures. And some forward-looking companies are providing ethics training to managers and workers.
While company-wide ethics awareness is a wonderful thing, the recent information about the online persona assumed by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey reminds us that the moral centre of every company lies within its leaders. Those leaders are and should be held to higher standards of ethics and morality-because they are leaders. If, as in the case of Mackey, they are running companies designed around a social responsibility premise, the standards are, and should be, that much higher. The Mackey incident is more about the Achilles’ heel of a standard bearer than it is about illegality or immorality.
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