Movie Message: Living By Words Part II

“It is curious – curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.” -Mark Twain (1835-1910)

What words do you live by?

Switching gears to real-life heroes, let’s talk about how Harvard’s MBA class of 2009 applied the same principle and, in so doing, changed the world’s financial system.
Discouraged by the carelessness and lack of respect that many MBA’s and financial managers had shown the people of the world, this league of graduate students did what heroes do: they took matters in their own hands.
First, they hypothesized that the fundamental issue at the core of the world’s financial meltdown was not the overselling of securities, but that those to whom people’s finances had been entrusted didn’t think about anyone but themselves – the antithesis of both heroism and entrepreneurism – and that what what they were doing was at all unethical.
In a coversation I had with the head of UCLA’s MBA program just before the financial disaster, I was informed that students are not taught about the connection between people and money because it was irrelevant. Sadly, many MBAs soon after became irrelevant.
But not so with the MBA students at Harvard.
Their diagnosis for the activities that led to the financial system meltdown was that MBA’s had no Code of Conduct – there were no rules or words for them to live by like there are with other professions, including doctors, lawyers, and warriors.
An MBA’sCode of Conduct must support fiscal responsibility and honorable dealings with their clients and markets.
So Harvard’s MBA student-heroes acted, declaring a new standard for ethics in business and financial management that is quickly becoming adopted by businesses and business schools around the world.
“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” – W. Clement Stone, 1902-2002

For their commitment to Live by Words, and for taking courageous and Heroic Action to bring human ethical standards to the financial industry, we proudly honor the Harvard MBA Class of 2009. Well done, heroes.
Read about their own words and support their Code of Conduct here.
Are you ready to live by words, too? Repeat the MBA Oath out loud now:


“As a business leader I recognize my role in society.


•  My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone.
•  My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and tomorrow.
Therefore, I promise that:
•  I will manage my enterprise with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society.
•  I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my enterprise.
•  I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.
•  I will protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my enterprise, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.
•  I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.
•  I will report the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
•  I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity.
In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards.


This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.”



About the author:

Tiger Todd is the founder and CEO of Hero School and Heroes Inc. He is a motivational speaker, a business consultant, and a powerful changemaker. For the past 10+ years, he has been devoted to solving the issue of homelessness.

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