So in tough times, there are five terrific questions we can ask. The first is What are we all about? In other words, do we have a core or are we all mirror? What are the values we have been living, not merely espousing? Are we like those Wall Street giants whose lived values seem to have been “line my pockets and stay out of jail”? Have our choices been selfish and expedient, or have we struggled to mean something through our actions? Wherever we are in the organization, what code or principles do we try to embody?

Sometimes those principles are lofty indeed. Sometimes they are earthy. A great favorite of mine came from a senior executive of a multinational insurance company in his address to managers during a workshop: “If you're ...

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