Stick a needle in my eye. I swear, he swears, we all swear for ice cream. Okay, wrong jingle. Taking oaths and making promises—not the eye sticking one of course, but the concept—goes back to the days of Abraham. So it’s not exactly new. Having said that, I thought it was interesting that we may be seeing a bit of an ethical revival of sorts in our business community. (About time lads.)

I was just reading this article from BNET that stated that almost a third of this year’s MBA graduates of Harvard Business School signed what they are calling an MBA oath. It’s an oath about working for the greater good and realizing that our actions have consequences that affect others. Wow. That’s impressive for a bunch of really smart business executives about to take on the world.

I remember taking an ethics course in business school and was astonished by what a couple of the other students thought was perfectly ethical behavior. And after the Enron scandal I remember talking to my Dad about how ethics courses should be mandatory for all business school students. Well I applaud the Harvard MBAs any other business executive out there who has taken the oath. Maybe if these values were taken seriously a decade or two ago, we wouldn’t be in so much trouble today. Maybe.

This oath is a good start but as Mary Poppins said, “No Pie Crust Promises. Easily Made, Easily Broken.” We must take the high road people. Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon. I really could go on and on with clichés and other fun stuff said and written by others. Seriously, so many smart people have made comments about promises and acting morally. Right now I’m doing what Mark Twain once said. “To act morally is noble, but to talk about acting morally is also noble and a lot less trouble.” So on that note, I promise, pinky swear, cross my heart and hope to die, that I will really try not to steal old ladies’ pensions, run any scams, or basically behave like a wall street banker—I mean con artist. And that last comment bears no reflection whatsoever on my good buddy Fast Ed who is a financial whiz in New York and who, like me, is an ethical, MBA grad looking to earn an honest day’s wage.

And before I go I just have to say that I’m glad I got to insert a Mary Poppins reference into this blog. It brings me back to a fond memory of writing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in really big letters in the sand at the beach. I think I’ll go do that tomorrow. After I take the oath and search for a job of course.

Advertisements