COMMENTARY 987.1: A Short-Haired Role Model

A popular way to encourage charitable donations is to invoke people to “give till it hurts.” Mrs. Rosario Rivera, an elementary school teacher in Puerto Rico, takes a very different approach, urging her students to “give until it feels good.” Mrs. Rivera teaches English at the José Ramón Rodriguez Elementary School in the town of Coamo in Puerto Rico. Her …

Accountability - what you don't know

ACCOUNTABILITY. What you don’t know CAN hurt you. What you don’t do WILL hurt you. What you try to cover-up. WILL KILL YOU. – Michael Josephson.

Accountability. RESPONSIBLE VIGILANCE IS A POTENT RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY What you don’t know CAN hurt you. What you don’t do WILL hurt you. What you try to cover-up. WILL KILL YOU. – Michael Josephson. Note to Leadership: You will be held accountable for knowing what you should know and doing want you should do. Another Penn State? Baylor Fails to …


ETHICS IN THE NEWS: Cheating at Harvard

A survey of the 2016 graduating class at Harvard revealed that 21 percent of seniors admitted to cheating during their time at Harvard. More than 90 percent said they did so on a problem set or regular homework assignment, while 23 percent said they did so during an in-class exam.


Communication Bridges All Divides

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

COMMENTARY 986.5: Teach or Punish, That Is the Question

As Greg paces the floor, waiting for his 17-year-old daughter Sandy to return from a school event, he feels two conflicting emotions: fear and anger. Fear that something terrible has happened to her. Anger because he thinks his fear is probably unfounded and Sandy is not hurt, simply irresponsible. Finally, Sandy calls. She’s all right. She just lost track of …


The Soul is Dyed the Color of its Thoughts

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your character is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” …

COMMENTARY 986.4: Self-Control

A frazzled mother with a fussy child caught the eye of a grocery store manager. He overheard her say, “Lily, you can do this. We just have to get a few things.” Moments later, when the child became more upset, the mother said calmly, “It’s okay, Lily. We’re almost done.” When the child became hysterical in the checkout line, the …


What Can You Do?

Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits. You can do so much more than you think you can.


3 Perspectives on Maturity

“Maturity is the ability to stick with a job until it’s finished; to do a job without being supervised; to carry money without spending it.” – Ann Landers “Everyone Grows Older. Some Attain Maturity. A Few Become Wise. It’s what you do with the experiences that come with growing older that makes all the difference.” – Michael Josephson “Maturity is …

COMMENTARY 986.3: Noah’s Term Paper

Noah really needed an ‘A’ on a term paper.  His friend Jason tells him that lots of kids “recycle” papers they don’t write and offers to give him a paper his older brother got an ‘A’ on three years ago. When Noah asked his for advice, his father hoped his son wouldn’t cheat but he didn’t want to be judgmental …


The Way You Make People Feel

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Remember this as you interact with your relatives. Many people dread family gatherings for fear that they will have to endure unfiltered and unkind comments or questions. Think before you speak and only say those things that make people feel good.



I love this concept. Nietzsche told us “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” and Hemingway wrote about becoming stronger in broken places. A different way of thinking is found in the Japanese concept of kintsukuroi the art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer in a way that makes the object more beautiful than it was before. …

COMMENTARY 986.2: “I Didn’t Want the Janitor to Lose His Job”

The primary responsibility for instilling good values and building character is with parents. This doesn’t mean, however, that teachers and coaches don’t have a critically important role. The unfortunate fact is that far too many kids are raised in morally impoverished settings that foster lying, cheating, and violence. If we don’t give these children moral instruction, many of them will …


Hold On…

“Hold on to the people and things that really matter. Let most of the other stuff go.” – Michael Josephson



“Setting priorities ensures you do what is most important to you, but you also have to do what is most important to the people you love because they are important to you. Make the people you love a top priority.” – Michael Josephson


I’m Possible!

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” – Audrey Hepburn



“A teacher affects all eternity. You never know where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams


Commencement Speeches: The Best Of

Sheryl Sandberg at UC Berkeley Steve Jobs at Stanford University: John F. Kennedy at American University: J.K. Rowling at Harvard University: Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane University: Conan O’Brien at Dartmouth College: Oprah at Spellman College: Denzel Washington University of Pennsylvania:

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The One-Minute Graduation Speech

I’ve given my share of commencement addresses, and I confess it’s a head-swelling experience to tell a captive crowd how you think they ought to live their lives while wearing an academic robe and a very silly hat. After all, didn’t they come primarily to hear what you have to say? Actually, they didn’t. In fact, graduation speakers are impediments …

COMMENTARY 986.1: There’s No Such Thing as Business Ethics

Some years ago, a senior executive at a Fortune 100 company objected when I asserted that corporations have an ethical, as well as a legal obligation to keep promises and honor their contracts. He said that the decision to live up to or ignore contractual commitments is a business decision, not an ethical one. The other party has legal remedies, …

COMMENTARY 985.5: A Call for More Civility

When George Washington was 16, he discovered a booklet of 110 maxims describing how a well-mannered person should behave. He was so convinced that these maxims would help him become a better person that he set out to incorporate them into his daily living. Among Washington’s many virtues, his commitment to civility marked him as a gentleman and helped him become …

COMMENTARY 985.4: Slow Dance

I once heard the chairman and CEO of a huge public company tell a roomful of ambitious, hardworking, dedicated executives that if he had to do it all over again, he would have spent more time with his family. That’s not news, but to Type-A personalities, it’s easier said than done. David L. Weatherford’s poem “Slow Dance” sends the message …