All Articles Tagged "ethics"
When it comes to getting employment in today’s economy, it’s all about professional skills and education, but don’t knock ethics and a good old-fashioned hustler’s mentality either. Ethics and social intelligence play just as big of a part in keeping people within great positions, helping them successfully navigate their professional path, networking and actually growing within an organization.
If climbing the career ladder were as easy as doing your work and doing it well, many of us would have executive somewhere in our job title. Unfortunately, in a work force where job competition grows more and more cutthroat, you may find yourself calling into question your personal and professional ethics. Working smarter and not harder is just as much about networking and social interaction as it is about Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations. There comes a time in everyone’s career where they have to decide what type of professional they want to be, and ask themselves the following questions about how their character affects their chances at climbing the ladder:
I remember when I interned in college and I saw many of my classmates doing what at the time I thought was “the most.” They would pick up breakfast for their site supervisors and then engage in shallow conversations about how interested they were in the boss’s weekend hobby of gardening (when I knew damn well the only grass they cared about made you light-headed and happy). Still, I could only be but so surprised when they were offered positions within the company when the internship ended.
It’s all about where you stand. I don’t engage in empty conversations that I don’t care about. It’s just not me. I’m all about friendly and polite small talk, but if we don’t click on any level other than that, that’s okay. There are supervisors that enjoy bending over and getting their behinds kissed and others that see right through it. I’d rather know that I’m being judged on my work ethic and professional skills than how great of a brown-noser I am.
2. How valuable is your time?
I won’t even lie. I’ve been that person working on assignment and activities off the clock, but it’s only because I have a significant passion for what I do. With that said, any good organization will recognize when an employee is truly invested and even if you’re not compensated monetarily, you’ll be the first one whom they think of when that promotion comes along. When it comes to working off the clock, my advice is do it because you want to and not because you’re expecting anything in return. It’s also important to note that having your own life doesn’t make you any less dedicated. Some employers will take advantage of you because they can. When you volunteer to take the minutes at every meeting, team-lead three projects and MC the annual fundraiser event, you don’t look like a hard worker, you look like you don’t know how to manage time and delegate responsibility. You don’t have to apologize for having a life outside of work.
3. What are you willing to do to get ahead?
There are all kinds of gray areas that you will encounter in your professional life. Do you help that co-worker you hate while he is drowning in work that he isn’t too sharp at getting done, but that you’ve done a thousand times? Do you take equal credit for that great idea your colleague had although all you did was nod and agree? As you navigate your professional path your character will be constantly tested and you’ll build a reputation for yourself. It all depends on what you can live with doing to get ahead. If that office with the window and a few extra zeros is really worth you breaking backs and throwing others under the bus, assume the position.
(Chicago News Cooperative) — While Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to unveil his 2012 city budget next month, Ald. Daniel Solis (25th Ward) will be bicycling in the Netherlands. But Solis won’t be on a European vacation: He will be peddling amid the canals of Amsterdam on a study trip paid for by a bicycling advocacy group. Solis revealed the trip on Twitter and said he will report the $2,000 gift on his aldermanic website, but nothing in the city’s municipal code requires him to disclose the free travel. The travel disclosure rules that apply to Chicago’s elected officials are far more lenient than the ethics laws for state and federal leaders, as well as for the politicians in other major U.S. cities. The city’s ethics ordinance does not consider work-related trips to be gifts, though it does require elected Chicago officials and some city employees to report gifts worth more than $500 in annual financial disclosure statement. The gift restrictions do not cover “reasonable hosting, including travel and expenses, entertainment, meals or refreshments furnished in connection with public events, appearances or ceremonies related to official city business, if furnished by the sponsor of such public event,” the ordinance states.
(Washington Post) — The D.C. Republican Committee has launched a Web site dedicated to riding herd on embattled D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) and his fellow ethically-challenged city pols. Located at harrythomasjr.com, the site asks “Are You Tired of the Scandals?” and features a picture of Thomas at the news conference he held shortly after the allegations of converting city money were first aired. Keep in mind that it was his Republican opponent, Timothy Day, whofirst raised pointed questions about Thomas’s non-political fundraising efforts.
(Wall Street Journal) — The House ethics committee said it will continue to investigate a $40,000 loan to Queens Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks, after a review by another ethics office found that the money was likely a gift from a wealthy friend. That friend, Queens businessman Edul Ahmad, was arrested last month by the FBI on mortgage fraud charges and is now free on bail. In early 2007, Ahmad gave Meeks $40,000, apparently to help the congressman pay for a new home.
(Washington Examiner) — D.C. councilman’s email hits on ‘presumption of innocence’. Embattled Ward 5 D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas is quietly running a public relations campaign that says he should presumed innocent rather than being attacked over accusations that he stole $300,000 in city funds meant for kids. Thomas has agreed to pay the city back. But in his settlement of a lawsuit filed against him by D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan, Thomas wasn’t required to admit that he stole the cash meant for youth sports programs so he could buy a high-end Audi sport utility vehicle and take golfing trips, which the lawsuit alleged. That’s given Thomas some room to maneuver, even as three of his council colleagues have called for him to resign and some of his constituents have begun to clamor for a recall. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating the accusations.
(Washington Examiner) — A rising tide of D.C. voters and elected officials is calling on Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. to resign after he agreed to pay the city back $300,000 he was accused of stealing. Petitions are circulating through Thomas’ Ward 5 to initiate a recall vote, and two D.C. Council members have called for him to resign. Other council members, including council Chairman Kwame Brown, have pushed Thomas to strongly consider his actions and the dark cloud they’ve cast on the city’s legislative body. Meanwhile, Thomas’ attorney, Fred Cooke, is creating a legal defense fund, The Washington Examiner has confirmed. The cash will help Thomas cover the costs of defending himself against an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Read more at the Washington Examiner:
Another politician kisses Capitol Hill goodbye amidst controversial allegations. Taiwan-born congressman, David Wu, has announced that he will be resigning from his position after the 18-year-old daughter of his friend and political supporter accused him of having “aggressive and unwanted” sex with her.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the Oregon Democrat elected to resign after reports surfaced over the weekend about the incident that is rumored to have occurred in November of 2010.
After his conversation with House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democratic leaders this past weekend, a House Ethics investigation was launched to discover exactly what occurred between Wu and his accuser.
Though Congressman Wu has not denied that there was a sexual relationship between him and the teen, he has firmly maintained the position that the incident was consensual. However, after the ethics investigation was initiated, Wu was placed under intense scrutiny by his peers and the voters who re-elected him in 2004, even after allegations surfaced that he forced a former girlfriend into an uncomfortable sexual situation. His decision to resign was reinforced by both of Oregon’s two democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Both senators called for his immediate resignation from his position.
“The accusations against David Wu are jarring and exceptionally serious. While he – like every American – deserves an opportunity to address those accusations and defend himself, our constituents in the first district of Oregon deserve a member in the House of Representatives whose main focus is fighting for their interests,” the senators said in a statement.
“The time has come to hand on the privilege of high office,” Wu said in a statement. “I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations.”
Though Wu is still maintaining that the relationship was consensual, he issued a statement this afternoon citing a need to provide security for his family during these allegations as his reason for resigning.
Once Wu’s resignation is official and his seat is vacated, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will call a special election to replace him.
(Washington Post) — D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. agreed Friday to repay the District $300,000 to settle a city lawsuit that alleged he diverted public funds from youth programs and used some of the money to pay for luxury cars and expensive trips. In a settlement that will avert a civil trial but does not shield the Ward 5 Democrat from possible criminal prosecution, he also agreed not to head up any charitable organizations for at least five years. Although Thomas did not admit wrongdoing, the settlement underscores the growing legal and political pressures facing several high-profile District leaders accused of ethical misconduct. The case also stands as a significant early accomplishment for the city’s new attorney general, Irvin B. Nathan, who has stressed that he will aggressively pursue allegations of mismanagement or corruption at city hall.
(Washington Post) — Nearly eight months into D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration, he has been unable to shake the misdeeds of his 2010 mayoral campaign. Rather than being able to move forward with a clear message on how he’s running and changing the city, Gray has been dogged by mounting allegations that some members of his campaign acted illegally.
By Charlotte Young
The House Ethics Committee may have been trying to investigate Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, but now it seems they will be requiring additional investigations.
As pressure rises from allegations of probe irregularities, the Committee is forced to hire an additional attorney. The Washington Post reports that Billy Martin, a prominent DC attorney, will be brought in as outside counsel as the investigation continues.
This news came shortly after the watchdog groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington voiced their concerns with the committee’s conduct to House Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The watchdog groups expressed their desire to see the case be handed over to an independent counsel on Monday.
Previously the Washington Post reported that the Committee’s investigation was deeply disrupted and undermined by infighting. Accusations declared that former attorneys on the committee may have compromised the investigation by “improperly communicating with Republican committee members.” Former chairman of the panel, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, “suspended the two lead lawyers in the investigation, former federal prosecutors Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign, over a dispute with the committee’s top attorney, Blake Chisam.” The current chairman, Rep. Jo Bonner, then accused Lofgren of attempting to dismiss Kim and Sovereign without cause. Since the dispute, Chisam has also left the Committee.
Maxine Waters has been facing investigation since 2009 when she was accused of arranging federal assistance for OneUnited, a minority-owned bank in which her husband holds a large financial investment.
Her trial was scheduled to take place last November but was postponed after the Committee revealed it had uncovered new evidence in the investigation.
Due to the irregularities, Water’s attorney had been pushing for a dismissal of the entire case. A press statement by Waters says that the addition of outside council is, “a recognition by the committee, that its investigation of me was misguided.” The statement continues that Waters is now confident that the counsel’s review of the committee’s misconduct will find that her rights were indeed violated and there will be no need for further investigation.