History to help guide your ethics

Posted by Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Thursday, January 6, 2011
Last evening on my drive home I was listening to MPR.  Reporter Dan Olson did a piece on a fomer St. Olaf professor who had recently passed away.  The remembrance of Reidar Dittmann included the relating of his time in Buchenwald as a prisoner of the Nazis.  Dittmann had been a part of the Norwegian resistance.  He noted that on the gate leading into Buchenwald was the motto:  Right or wrong, my country.  Profound when you think of the activities occuring in Buchenwald.  Later in the piece, a...
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Leaders are always Student Leaders

Posted by The Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar has its name because it is focused on high school students, but in truth the word student can be applied to leaders of any age whether in school or not. 

Leaders must always evaluate how they are doing.  Are they effective?  Are they doing right by their followers? 

On the website StudentLinc, there is a fantastic training matrix that can be used by leaders in all positions at every age.  This site "was created to specifically address the issues and th...
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Powerful people are better liars?

Posted by The Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In the May 2010 Harvard Business Review Magazine, researcher Dana Carney was called upon to explain her finding that "A sense of power buffers individuals from the stress of lying and increases their ability to deceive others."

Carney's description of her research and her findings is by her own account "troubling."

We measured subjects on five variables that indicate lying—involuntary shoulder shrugs, accelerated speech, the level of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva, cognitive impa...
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An Athlete of Character

Posted by The Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Wednesday, May 12, 2010
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to be an assistant coach for a high school girl's swimming team.  The talent on the team was impressive.  Many swimmers had a chance at going to the State tournament...and they knew it. 

There were three seniors on the team.  All three were elected as the captains of the team.  All three were among the top swimmers on a team that had not one stand-out, but many. 

As we got to the midpoint of the season and the swimmers had several blow-out meets under th...
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Brian Davis - Real World Example of Ethics in Action!

Posted by Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Monday, April 19, 2010 In : Real World Ethics 


I was watching the last part of a golf tournament Sunday afternoon - the Heritage at Hilton Head Island and saw an example of ethics that really heartened me!

Two golfers, Jim Furyk and Brian Davis tied for the match and had to go into sudden death. In the first hole Davis (who has never won a PGA tourney) hit his second shot out of bounds to a very bad lie. He chose to play his third shot from there after much deliberation. (He could have dropped the ball somewhere else and taken a 1 stroke...


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Meaning Well is Not the Same as Doing Well

Posted by Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How many times have you said to yourself "I meant to..."

"I meant to....  tell that person how much they are valued and appreciated......I meant to....return that $5 that I borrowed from a friend two months ago....I meant to....pitch in and help with the big project...I meant to ...

"We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and judge others by their behaviour. This belief means that we are often blind to our behaviours, dismissing its impact on others as a mere misunderstanding. After all, ...


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Commercialized Values

Posted by Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Friday, January 1, 2010
I recently saw a commercial that showed a basketball player in the championship game give up possession of the ball by calling attention to the fact that he was the last to touch the ball before it went out of bounds.  The ref didn't see it and was giving possession to the player's team, but this boy told his coach that he touched the ball last.  Much to the frustration of the rest of his teammates, he insisted until the the call was reversed.  The coach backed him up. 

My immediate reaction ...
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Faking Perfection

Posted by The Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Monday, December 14, 2009 In : Real World Ethics 
On the Responsibility Project blog, Kathy McManus introduces an intriguing question on whether the wave of air-brushed, photoshopped, lip-synched, perfect performances of Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Yo Yo Ma are a new form of responsibility.

The editor of the magazine that featured a photoshopped Kelly Clarkson on the cover insisted that a magazine cover needs to be perfect and reflect "the essence of you at your best."  The producer of Jennifer Hudson's lip-synched performance of th...
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Minnesota's Future...

Posted by Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Sunday, December 6, 2009
This video created by The Center For Academic Excellence who are also responsible for the Minnesota Schools of Character (MNSOC) awards program. 

Well worth your time, consideration, and action.


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Be a Tiger?

Posted by Minnesota Student Leadership Seminar Team on Sunday, December 6, 2009 In : Real World Ethics 
What is the most important thing about the recent revelations of Tiger Woods and his infidelities? 

It is how we respond to them.

ProEthics points out In their blog Ethics Alarms, that there is a big danger letting Tiger Woods off the hook too easily. (see the entire post here:  http://ethicsalarms.com/2009/12/06/tiger-woods-ethics-part-ii-yes-it-matters/

If society wants to be civilized and to provide a stable structure for children to grow and thrive, it must not accept Woods-style misconduc...
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