The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps That Every One of Us Falls Prey To

By Robert Hoyk; Paul Hersey | Go to book overview

TRAP 15:
TIME PRESSURE

ANTHONY PARINELLO, The Wall Street Journal bestselling author, writes that top executives “will do virtually anything to avoid being placed in a situation in which they have no choice but to waste time.”1 When referring to presidents, CEOs, owners, board members, and partners of companies he writes that on any given day, in addition to their scheduled appointments, these important top officers “will be faced with over 128 unscheduled activities that include but are by no means limited to: emergency meetings, telephone calls, last-minute presentations, planning sessions, reading reports and other documents, interruptions, message slips, post-it notes, email … listening and responding to a barrage of voice mail messages …”2

Lynne Jeter writes in her book Disconnected: Deceit and Betrayal at WorldCom about a top-level executive at Worldcom who quit because of time pressure during the company’s rapid growth: “We were all running at 100 miles per hour, but that’s what it took to get the job done. The people that couldn’t stand it needed to get out of the way because there simply wasn’t another option. That’s why I got out of the way. Let someone else with energy do the job. Working 18 to 20 hour days? i didn’t want to sacrifice that much.”3

Good ethics take time. You might have noticed that we have referred to unethical behavior in this book as “taking short cuts.” Executives

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The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps That Every One of Us Falls Prey To
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • The Ethical Executive xv
  • Trapped! 1
  • Why Do Traps Exist, and What Are They? 6
  • Why This Isn’t Just Another Business Ethics Book 8
  • A Word about Research 13
  • Part I - Primary Traps 15
  • Trap 1 - Obedience to Authority 17
  • Trap 2 - Small Steps 21
  • Sidesteppingr Esponsibility 23
  • Trap 6 - Competition 27
  • Self-Interest 31
  • Trap 10 - Conflicts of Loyalty 37
  • Trap 11 39
  • Trap 12 - Conformity Pressure 43
  • Trap 13 - "Don’t Make Waves" 44
  • Trap 14 - Self-Enhancement 46
  • Trap 15 - Time Pressure 48
  • Trap 16 - Decision Schemas 51
  • Trap 17 - Enacting a Role 53
  • Trap 18 - Power 55
  • Trap 19 - Justification 57
  • Trap 20 - Obligation 60
  • Part II - Defensive Traps 61
  • Annihilation of Guilt 63
  • Minimizing 68
  • Trap 33 - Addiction 75
  • Trap 34 - Coworker Reactions 77
  • Trap 35 - Established Impressions 79
  • Trap 36 - Contempt for the Victim 82
  • Trap 37 - Doing Is Believing 85
  • Part III - Personality Traps 87
  • Trap 38 - Psychopathy 89
  • Traps 39 and 40 - Poverty and Neglect 92
  • Trap 41 - Low Self-Esteem 94
  • Trap 42 - Authoritarianism 95
  • Trap 43 - Social Dominance Orientation 96
  • Trap 44 - Need for Closure 98
  • Trap 45 - Empathy 100
  • Part IV - Analyzing Dilemmas 103
  • The Parable of the Sadhu 105
  • Jonestown 109
  • Final Words 117
  • Notes 119
  • Index 131
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