Does taking responsibility require micromanaging?
Is it ever possible to expect too much oversight?
Can due diligence erode the foundations of trust?
These are some of the issues the ethics panel takes up in this week's ethics challenge:
Recently, Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the accidental death of Halyna Hutchins by a prop gun that turned out to be loaded with live ammunition.
We’re not going to discuss the legalities of the case, but how can we evaluate the ethics of diffused responsibility? Alec Baldwin was handed a gun and told it was a prop. As an actor, did he have a moral responsibility to check the gun, or was it proper to rely on the expertise of the armorer?
On the other hand, he was also producer of the film. Does that make him ultimately responsible for underlings who fail in their responsibilities?
How might these issues extend to other areas? Do I have to check my car’s brakes after I buy it, or can I rely on the responsibility of the manufacturer? Is the CEO of a corporation with 20,000 employees responsible if a junior executive misuses company resources to embezzle funds from clients or customers?
To some degree, the smooth running of society demands that we trust those around us to do what they’re supposed to do. Is it healthy, or even realistic, for us to try to assume responsibility for others doing their jobs? If not, where does accountability lie?
Meet this week’s panelists:
Christopher Bauer is a Speaker, Author, and Consultant on Ethics, Compliance, and Accountability.
Deb Coviello, aka the Drop in CEO, is an author, speaker, podcast host, and silver medalist curler who coaches C-Suite leaders of today and tomorrow to navigate challenges with confidence.
Catherine Fitzgerald is a speaker, writer, certified coach, and founder of BrassTacksWithHeart - Executive Coaching. She works with C-level leaders and their teams as they navigate the choppy waters of aligning people, performance, and profits.