Tag Archives: Ethics

Literature makes better leaders

A Harvard Professor teaches MBA students how to become moral leaders, and finds lessons in literature:

“the understanding of what makes a good leader starts with searching for truth in works of fiction.”

“It takes something really big to shape somebody … The reason literature can have that influence–these books kind of get under peoples’ skin.”

“Because you read these books, and you might see one of these characters and think, ‘That’s me.”

“I think what you get from serious literature is a warts-and-all view of people and people in leadership positions … In other words, the authors can be basically unsparing. The good stuff and bad stuff and the confused stuff going over (the characters’) heads, it’s all there. You can see it and learn from how these characters made decisions.”

“This course is intensely practical, if the term practical is understood to include preparation for living a morally responsible life … One of the goals of this course is to move you beyond your immediate reactions in challenging situations toward a more considered and analytical approach to moral and ethical decision-making.”

From: m.fastcompany.com/3029202/bottom-line/how-literature-creates-a-more-moral-future-ceo

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The Roots of Empathy, Compassion, and Ethical Behavior: Books

“it is this capacity to make up stories that makes us act morally. When we tell and hear stories about others, we discover an impulse to seek to understand their behavior. Instead of simply ascribing universal negative traits to describe behavior that we find troubling in others, we seek to describe actions using impulses that we understand. For example, instead of assuming that someone who cuts in traffic is unforgivably self-absorbed, the person who fills his or her life with stories will imagine that said traffic-cutter is rushing to the hospital. …

Stories are so important to the way that we relate to each other socially. They teach us to reconsider preconceptions and try on new perspectives. They teach us to imagine the stories behind the behavior we see in the world. They teach us compassion.”

More: m.dukechronicle.com

Writers and morality

“Political correctness is now about to affect the behaviour of writers, with the American arm of HarperCollins introducing a “morality clause” that gives it the right to terminate a contract if “an author’s conduct evidences a lack of due regard for public conventions and morals or if such behaviour would materially damage the work’s reputation or sales”.

Ironically – HarperCollins, one of the Big Five publishers, is part of the entertainment and media empire run by Rupert Murdoch of the phone hacking scandal


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