Directory Assistance: Can You Please Find Me An Ethical Leader?

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonMY OVER-EXAGGERATED article title aside, there does not appear to be an abundance of so-called leaders out there who have ethics. To give you an illustration of what I am referring to look no further than the Executive Branch of our government where the President of the United States (aka the leader of the free world) is completely devoid of anything resembling ethics or true leadership. The “deal” that was struck with Iran reinforces this fact.

The leaders of the two major political parties in this country are for the most part are each led by individuals whose own political interests in cooperation with the special interest groups they cater to are also classic examples of what unethical leaders do and shouldn’t be doing. The Democrats have not led in years while the newly elected Republican Party majority is showing how to lead by not doing anything you promised to do while doing everything they promised not to do. Credibility or the lack of it, in this case, does not exemplify leadership.

Some of the biggest names in the banking industry Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual (now defunct), Chase, amongst others were hit with recording breaking fines for numerous violations of banking industry regulations in addition to their not so small role in the mortgage crises that sent this country into a tailspin that resulted in a recession that lingers on despite numbers suggesting otherwise. Can the Executives of these banks (not to mention AIG) have shown any less leadership with even less ethics? Lest we not forget the scores of mortgage bankers whose executives were so overwhelmed with lust for huge profits they took whatever they could from whomever they could get with no concern for the ramifications of their actions. Leaders not and ethical not!

Our beloved world of sports most notably Football, Baseball, & Basketball are headed up by Commissioners who routinely ignore the ills of their respective leagues in tandem with the owners of the respective franchises in their sports could not show less leadership if they tried. Arguably they are not as far down on the ethics chain as some of the afore mentioned they still have quite aways to go before they are considered to be men of high ethical standards. The athletes who thrill us with their feats have many whose greatness on the field is overshadowed by their well-publicized lawless behavior off the field.

There is also a little bit more than a “smattering” of religious leaders who have allowed or turned a blind eye to many life damaging transgressions that have been committed by their respective leaders on the local level. None of the “major” religions have not been scathed by one scandal or another. Religion, when practiced correctly, is designed to instill us with positive values that we are supposed to adhere to in all aspects of our lives. When the infrastructure of religion starts displaying the exact opposite of what they are supposed to represent our moral fabric begins to tatter and fray.

This article to a great extent paints a “gloom & doom there is no hope left” picture, however, there is the other side of the equation. That side is there are scores of true leaders whose ethics are beyond reproach. Rarely are they recognized for their work or given mention. These people who truly give a “dam” how they lead, what they represent as they become the steel pillars of strength we are yearning for. Included in this group are individuals who have significant wealth but have not lost sight of the “bigger picture.”

Despite the apparent domination of the rotten cores of the “scuzz” amongst us there are unsung/virtually unknown people/very well –known people who deserve our applause. The do exist and they are out there. This is America the land where nothing is ever all lost.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Chris,
    I love the quote from Spiderman. I saw a couple of the movies and enjoyed them. As far as the quotes from the other men you chose I have not heard many quotes that were attributed to a number of them. In general though you did a tremendous job in matching a quote that correspond to the article. Thank you Chris for all of your comments!

  2. “With great power comes great responsibility.”
    – Ben Parker, uncle to Spider-man

    Though a common quote in the Spider-man mythos, similar such quotes about leadership, power, and responsibility have been made my many great men.
    – Lord Melbourne
    – Winston Churchill
    – Teddy Roosevelt
    – Franklin D. Roosevelt
    – Sir Hercules G. R. Robinson
    – Professor Henry W. Haynes
    – John A. Fitch

    Perhaps our leaders should not just learn more about history, they should read more comic books; and be reminded what a leader, what a hero really is.

  3. Shelly, our moral compass has been systematically taken away from our culture by those that represent tiny minority interests. Step by step God has been removed from our money, our schools, and our public buildings. Likewise the liberal factions have allowed the dishonoring of our flag, national anthem, and have pushed for penalizing law enforcement when they try to quell riots and criminal behavior.

    Joel, I believer there are far more good ethical leaders in our country than bad ones. But, our view is skewed by the media that touts the bad guys.

    • Shelly, How are you? Thank you for your compliments. Ethical leaders in my opinion are in short supply as pointed out in my article. In your opinion how did we allow ourselves to get into this precarious situation and what do we do moving forward to INCREASE the “inventory” of ethical leaders. Hope everything with you is well. It’s always a pleasure reading your comments.

    • To be honest, I think our society has “allowed” for the loss of ethics in Business. There is a sense of complacency in our society that is quite scary. I personally feel we have lost our moral compass. I believe we need to hold our leaders in government and business to higher standards.