“Stand Up and Step Forward”

“We have to talk about ethics, and we have to talk about it a lot,” Nancy Hauserman said. Wednesday evening, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville was the host to Nancy Hauserman, a professor emerita at the University of Iowa, who gave a lecture on the value of having ethics both in the business world and in the social world. Hauserman gave her lecture over the reasons to have ethics, what could be the consequences without them and how you can live with them.

She explained where ethics start from and how they can influence a group for better or for worse. She discussed how the failure to prioritize ethics has been following humanity all throughout history. According to Hauserman, we have not learned from the past and we might have just gotten used to not having ethics as a priority. She said that the change needed to happen from the top.

“Things do come from the top. If people at the top don’t care, people at the bottom won’t care,” Hauserman said.

Later in the lecture, Hauserman discussed how problems start much sooner than expected. She brought up talk of automotive companies that have had to recall thousands of cars, and she said that if a problem is ignored it becomes more expensive when things actually go wrong. Hauserman believes that this was one of the main reasons that ethics should be see just the same as safety as this would help prevent many problems.

“Make sure that you are part of an organization in which ethics has a seat at the table,” Hauserman said.

She talked about how ethics are pushed aside most of the times today and how this can lead to very serious problems. Hauserman gave an example of an employee at a car dealership who pointed out a problem with one of the functions of the car, but the people that they told did not listen to them. Later on down the road, the car had to be recalled and the company ended up losing a ton of money. Within this example, she wanted to emphasize the power of personal values.

“Don’t compromise your values. You can’t be true to your values if you don’t know what they are” Dr. Hauserman said.

Both leaders and followers need to have values and in order to be a good and effective leader, your followers must believe in you and your values.