Make an Ethical Difference
Tools for Better Action
By Mark Pastin
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Final Release Date: November 2013
Pages: 240

We are plagued today by a decline in ethical behavior. Scandals come so thick and fast that any attempt to list them is out of date in weeks if not days. But ethics isn't just a matter of headlines; it's a part of everyone's life. We're called on to make ethical decisions, large and small, all the time. This can be particularly tricky in the workplace, where our decisions can affect not just ourselves but coworkers, clients, customers, and even the entire company.

Existing ethics books are of limited use. They generally feature one author's opinions on very specific situations, which may well have nothing to do with the problems we're facing. And anyway, we don't need expert advice. Mark Pastin insists every one of us is qualified to resolve even the thorniest dilemmas ourselves, and in this profoundly practical book he gives us the tools to do just that.

Pastin argues that we all have an innate ethical –he calls it “the ethics eye.” The problem is, we're not aware we have it or how to develop it. Here he provides practical tools we can use to open up our ethics eye so that we can consistently see what is right and do it.

Make an Ethical Difference shows how to apply these tools using actual ethical dilemmas drawn from Pastin's decades of experience as an advisor to governments, corporations, and NGOs. The point is not to try to wedge your situation into one of the examples—it's to show how a tool that can be applied to any situation is used in one particular instance. And once you've reached a decision, Pastin offers strategies for building consensus with those who might disagree with you.

People often feel hopeless and skeptical that there is anything they as individuals can do to raise society's ethical level or resolve long-standing impasses. By using the unique tools in this book, we will gain confidence in our innate ethical sense and take actions that will elevate the ethical level of the groups and organizations we belong to and society as a whole.

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