This week’s special guest is Yonason Goldson, an expert in ethical leadership, TEDx speaker, and consultant. He joins Tom Fox to discuss why ethics matters, as well as five important lessons the COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us.

Trust – the Key to Business Success

Yonason shares a story that illustrates how one moment of disrespect can destroy trust between an employer and an employee. He explains, “When you create a culture of trust, that generates loyalty, it generates passion, it generates productivity… The employees are engaged and want to give their all… And so they’re looking for opportunities to prove themselves by doing the best they can. And you have a company culture that thrives, it’s vibrant, it’s exciting. People want to come to work, and success is a foregone conclusion.” How Alcoa’s market value increased by 900% because of Paul O’Neill’s ethical leadership is a testament to the value of building a culture of trust, he says. He then talks about the huge cost of worker disengagement and points out that “Companies that are ranked highest for ethics, they grow faster than average, employees report being more satisfied, being more energized, being more loyal, recommending this job to friends and family.”

Listening Is a Key Leadership Skill

Tom comments that the ability to listen is the second most important step in fostering a speak-up culture. Yonason says that listening is how we get to know other people, and the more we know other people, the more we know ourselves. “The more discussion there is looking from every possible angle, the more likely it is that the conclusions and the decisions that we reach are going to be the best possible conclusions and decisions that we can reach,” he remarks.  

Lessons from Coronavirus

Tom asks Yonason to share the practical lessons about ethics that we can learn from the pandemic. Yonason summarizes them as:

  1. Everything you do matters: the essence of ethics is to be aware of how your actions affect the world around you.
  2. Protect your ethical health: behavior is infectious.
  3. What you don’t see can hurt you.
  4. We need each other.
  5. Don’t wait for the next epidemic.

Secrets of Ethical Affluence

You can become ethically affluent by minding the CoDE of ethics. Yonason explains that this acronym stands for Communication, Diversity, and Ethics. He details why each aspect is important. Of diversity, he says, “Diversity is not just cultural or ethnic diversity, it’s intellectual diversity. It’s having people coming from different points of view… and different experiences… That intellectual diversity stimulates thought and new ideas…”


Yonason Goldson on LinkedIn

The ROI of Ethics

The Ethics of Epidemic

TEDx Talk: How I Became My Own Worst Nightmare

Ebook: The Secrets of Ethical Affluence