The Div­i­dends of De­cency: How Val­ues-based Lead­er­ship Will Help Busi­ness Flour­ish in Trump’s Amer­ica

Don­ald Lee Sheppard

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - BARRY SIL­VER­STEIN

Fig­ure 1 Pub­lish­ing (APRIL) Hard­cover $26.95 (272pp) 978-1-77327-032-6

A strong, im­pas­sioned plea for valu­ing ethics in Amer­i­can busi­ness, The Div­i­dends of De­cency is the kind of book that will em­bar­rass some busi­ness lead­ers and em­bolden oth­ers. Don­ald Lee Sheppard, who founded the na­tion’s largest in­de­pen­dent full-ser­vice em­ployee com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm, rails against busi­nesses with no moral com­pass.

Us­ing rel­e­vant cases, the au­thor ex­plores the per­va­sive lack of ethics among com­pa­nies in the first part of this fer­vent work. He also un­flinch­ingly points to Don­ald Trump as a glar­ing ex­am­ple of a busi­ness­man with “de­fi­cient ethics.”

In part 2, Sheppard shares his per­sonal story to pro­vide con­text to the no­tion of build­ing a busi­ness that fol­lows eth­i­cal guide­lines. En­trepreneurs should be par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in read­ing about his tri­als and tribu­la­tions. Part 3 is the log­i­cal cul­mi­na­tion of the book; it of­fers sub­stan­tive rec­om­men­da­tions for ex­er­cis­ing de­cency in busi­ness.

Sheppard writes, for ex­am­ple, that too many busi­nesses are con­cerned with ac­tions that im­pact share­hold­ers while un­der­valu­ing the im­por­tance of em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, and ven­dors. He ex­plores the concepts of in­tegrity, ethics, di­ver­sity, and trust. Sheppard plainly outlines four rea­sons why “ev­ery cor­po­ra­tion in Amer­ica needs a code of ethics” and pro­vides seven spe­cific steps to take to de­velop a mean­ing­ful code.

The Div­i­dends of De­cency eas­ily could have de­volved into an in­dict­ment of Amer­i­can busi­ness. Rather than merely ex­co­ri­at­ing com­pa­nies, how­ever, Sheppard of­fers a clear path­way to de­cency.

Rev­e­la­tory in its fo­cus and ac­tion-ori­ented in its ap­proach, The Div­i­dends of De­cency is a timely, coura­geous book that de­serves the at­ten­tion of all busi­ness lead­ers.

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