Beyond the moral value of ethical leadership, can strong ethics have a positive, measurable impact on a business and its constituents?
Several national business leaders will be speaking in September at a University of North Georgia (UNG) event to explain why the answer is "yes." The BB&T Center for Ethical Business Leadership, a unit of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at UNG, will host the speakers at the ROI (Return On Investment) of Ethical Leadership in Business Symposium, to be held Sept. 19 at the Forsyth Conference Center in Cumming. The conference is open to the public.
"This symposium offers a unique opportunity for business professionals, community members, educators and students to witness how a strong foundation in ethics can impact many areas outside of the individual who possesses it," said Rose Procter, director for the BB&T Center for Ethical Business Leadership. "Many business ethics speakers address the what and why, but never provide the take-away of, 'how do you really implement these ideas starting in the office.' The speakers at our event bring business ethics and leadership expertise that will provide a what, why and how of ethical leadership."
Scheduled speakers include: Joel Manby, president and CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment; Dr. Bruce Weinstein, author of "Ethical Intelligence" and "Is it Still Cheating if I Don't Get Caught?"; Dr. Mary Gentile, author and director of "Giving Voice to Values"; and Chuck Gallagher, chief operating officer of American Funeral Financial and president of Ethics Resource Group.
"These are business experts and leaders who have decades of experience in living and leading the changes and trends in ethical business leadership," said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "Their presence and knowledge will be an asset to our rapidly-growing region of Georgia, where growth based on solid ethical values will be a true advantage for future generations. We look forward to their insights and presentations."
Herschend is the largest family-owned theme park corporation in the U.S. During Manby's tenure as president and CEO, two Herschend parks earned the industry's highest honor. As valedictorian of his class at Albion College, Manby was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School on a General Motors scholarship.
Weinstein is a contributor to Huffington Post and other national media outlets, and his latest book, "Ethical Intelligence: Five Principles for Untangling Your Toughest Problems at Work and Beyond," is a silver winner from Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Awards. He received a doctorate in philosophy and bioethics from Georgetown University and a National Fellowship in Leadership Development from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Gentile's curriculum, "Giving Voice to Values," has been featured in Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and McKinsey Quarterly, and piloted in more than 500 business schools and organizations globally. The curriculum is based on her award-winning book, "Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right." From 1985 to 1995, Gentile was a faculty member and manager of case research at Harvard Business School.
Gallagher's new book, "Second Chances: Transforming Adversity into Opportunity," explains how he lost everything due to some bad choices mid-career, but has successfully rebuilt his career and his life. He believes that everyone has the potential to make a life-changing unethical decision, and shares his experiences to help others avoid his mistakes.
General admission to the symposium, which includes continental breakfast and lunch, is $99; other rates are available for students, table sponsorships, and for those seeking continuing education units. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and ends at 2 p.m. For more information, complete speaker descriptions and to order tickets, visit: http://ung.edu/bbt-center-ethical-business-leadership/symposium/.