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Summary of the “Personal Ethics” Video Presented by Carly Fiorina

Introduction

            Ethics
is defined as “moral principles determining right and wrong, providing guidance
in every decision one makes.” Ethics has always been a priority in my
upbringing and walk of life, without even knowing or understanding the meaning
of the word. My mother instilled in me early on that doing the right thing
would always take one through tough times.

            Searching
for a video pertinent to business ethics, I came across Ms. Fiorina’s video
entitled “Personal Ethics.” Personal ethics is the utmost principle guiding
anyone in any area to do what is right. This video brought back memories of the
way I was brought up, and I could somewhat relate.

             

Summary of the Video

            Ms.
Fiorina was the president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP).  She was recognized as the most Powerful Woman
in Business by Fortune for four years. She was also at the center of a merger
with Compaq, HP’s rival. Ms. Fiorina’s video was about the experience she had
at Hewlett-Packard mainly created by board members’ lack of integrity in the
boardroom. Having been taught by her parents that personal ethics are
everything and that values matter, she would not allow anyone to violate this
principle. She defines values as “what guide one’s behavior when no one is
watching.” She made a statement that “how a story ends has much to do with how
it begins,” referring to her upbringing and the environment she faced at
Hewlett-Packard.

            Ms.
Fiorina spoke about the importance of character, ethics and toughness in
decision-making. She also made mention of cultural differences and diversity in
business. Most of the employees were men and the cultural gap was remarkable
since the company has businesses in 127 countries. Cultural differences were
shown in the misuse power in the boardroom and lack of integrity of members in
conducting business.

            When one wants to get something done,
one has to learn to work with people who practice different ethical principles.
The video presented an encounter Ms. Fiorina had when she went to Korea in order
to build international relationships, meeting the president of another
technology company. The only female employees at the company were elevator
operators or secretaries. She talked about the discomfort shown by the
president when he met her in the executive boardroom. Accepting an invitation
for traditional Korean dining with other senior executives where there was a
“bridge of cultural gap” was an attempt to make the meetings more
successful.  Ms Fiorina explained that
“nothing is accomplished in business with one person working alone. In
collaboration and in spite of different values, one must find common language
and cause with people who are very different than one.”

            Another
issue presented in the video was the fear of change. In overcoming fear and
resistance to change and preventing possible unethical behavior, leaders must
provide the necessary material and deal with emotional aspects. The leadership
requirement is balance with understanding and executing details regarding the
vision of change.

            Ms.
Fiorina said that she fired employees not so much for their performance but
because they “were not walking the walk, representing the values and vision of
the company.” Whether it is personal or business ethics, one must find a common
cause and share common experiences.

            Ms.
Fiorina is a leader. She sees possibilities in people that others cannot see.
She influenced change in employees’ and the company’s ethical practice and
knowledge. Her personal ethics were displayed with much success at HP, serving
as a catalyst in making changes in such a prestigious company.

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

Fiorina,
C. (2009) “Personal Ethics Video” Youtube.edu www.flora.tv

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAie2R7m-n4&feature=related

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