Book Review - Moral Intelligence by Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph. D.
I don't think morality in business is a new phenomenon, but it's gotten much more focus in the post-Enron business environment. I had a chance to read and review the book Moral Intelligence by Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph. D. This is an excellent book for more than just people in business...
Part 1 - Moral Intelligence: Good Business; Born to Be Moral; Your Moral Compass; Staying True to Your Moral Compass
Part 2 - Developing Moral Skills: Integrity; Responsibility; Compassion and Forgiveness; Emotions
Part 3 - Moral Leadership: The Moral Leader; Leading Large Organizations; Moral Intelligence for the Entrepreneur; Becoming a Global Moral Leader; Strengthening Your Moral Skills; Moral Competency Inventory (MCI); Scoring the MCI; Interpreting Your MCI Scores; Index
The main points that were driven home to me in this book are the concepts of moral intelligence and moral competence. Moral intelligence is the ability to know the "right thing to do", whereas moral competence is the ability to actually "do the right thing" when the time comes and the situation demands it. Unless there's some sort of physical or emotional damage to a person, everyone has a moral compass. In the business world, none of the people being convicted of criminal activity can say that the activities that they did were right. The intelligence of what is right and wrong was there (if ever so faint). It's the ability to act on that intelligence consistently that was lacking, and it's the reason many of them know where they'll be spending the next 5 to 10 years. The authors set forth the concepts in a clear fashion, and there are exercises throughout the first part of the book that will help you figure out exactly what your moral values are. Once you understand what you value, it's much easier to determine what the right thing to do might be in ambiguous or emotionally charged situations.
While the book is generally written for business leaders, parts 1 and 2 apply to anyone. The daily situations where you need to act in a morally consistent fashion are present regardless of what part of the business you occupy. Part 3 gets more into specific applications that apply to business leaders, and it's there that today's business leader will learn how best to apply the concepts learned earlier.
Excellent material that if considered and applied will change the way you run your business and your life. You'll definitely come away a happier and more fulfilled individual as you live a life that's in alignment with your values.