Before writing this review, let me be clear, Roger Steare is a former client of mine and I would now consider him to be a friend. Nevertheless as I explain this book touches a chord in me and is very significant piece of work as we move through the 21st Century.
The book "Ethicablity - How to Decide What is Right & Have The Courage To Do It" is split into 3 key sections - What is ethics?, Ethicability and Living a good life, building a better world.
Its premise and rationale is outlined in the opening words.."This book has been written to fill a void. How do we decide what's right and find the courage to do it.....We live in a world where we're constantly told what's right and we're losing the ability to work it out for ourselves. From parents to teachers, from preachers to the boss, we're told,"do this,""don't do that,""here's your bonus" or "you're fired."....."We can find thousands of books on how to be happy or how to be a success. We might even find ourselves looking in the philosophy section in a bookshop, but after flipping through books using the words like, "chrematistics," "epistemology"and "propositional calculus," we put them back on the shelf, having lost the will to live."
The strains and stresses of living in a modern world.
Why do I have such a particular interest in this book?
If I can add my own take to Roger Steare's analysis, there is another reason why we have a need for this book...We live in a world where we also have so much choice about how we conduct own affairs ranging from the simple to the profound we need to have some kind of framework to guide us in how we live our lives.
The book has been written to fill a void.
According to Roger, Ethicability is about being good, doing right,and leaving the world a better place.
Should that not be a goal of us all or should we just focus exclusively on our economic needs?
A key feature of the book is its easy writing style which is written in an engaging way. Real life case studies which can be practically applied keep the book engaging.
A section which I paid particular attention was the one relating to Conflict resolution which includes Conflicts of desire and Conflicts of interest which can be considered at an organisational level. These include shareholders, customers, directors, employees, suppliers and competitors.
How do you resolve dealing with these competing interests?
The book is not arrogant to assume that it can give you the answers to these and other questions but it does give you a framework for helping you on your personal journey and that of your organisation.
The key theme about the book is asking a set of questions which can be remembered under the mnemonic "r.i.g.h.t."
According to Roger we need to ask:
Rules - What are the rules?(Rules Compliance)
Integrity - How do our principles guide us?(Principled Conscience)
Good - How would benefit and how? (Social Conscience)
Harm- Who could be harmed and how(Social Conscience)
Truth - Are we being honest and accountable?
Where Roger comes into his own is in testing his decision with a series of additional potent questions including :
- How would we feel in their shoes?
- What would be fair and reasonable?
- What would be the adult thing to do?
- What would build trust and respect?
- What can we learn from this dilemma?
These and other questions can help guide us to that solution and give us the confidence to turn the decsion into action.
I found the latter question particularly helpful regarding a problem that I had because by learrning we can see themes which may have cropped out elsewhere in life.
Roger who provides workshops, advisory services and speaking engagements has an impressive list of supporters including John Harker, Human Resource Director at Citigroup who writes "Developing the wisdom to know "what is right" is a lot more difficult than most people think. Finding the courage to act is even harder. Ethicabilty is a thoughtful and insightful guide with examples of many real world ethical dilemmas to help individuals ask the right questions and build the confidence to make decisions based on integrity and principles. Roger Steare's book will be a gem to companies and individuals wishing to develop a moral compass."