Frank Bucaro, a leading expert and advocate of the power of ethical leadership in business, presented “The Trust Puzzle: A Leader’s Guide to Ethics in Business,” to an audience of more than 1,200 November 3 as a part of the State Farm Ethics Lecture Series at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration. Bucaro spoke to the CBA community at the Lied Center for Performing Arts about the importance of ethics in business today regarding the moral spiral of making a decision and the consequences that come after.
“Making an ethical decision is to agonize, in a positive and proactive way over it, because the repercussions could live on for years,” said Bucaro. “Making a decision is like throwing a rock in a pond. No matter how big or small that rock is when it hits the water, water is displaced. It makes ripples and those ripples can make consequences you can’t always see right away.”
He also discussed key ethics issues that students may face in their careers. Issues like differing definitions of ethics across generations, the importance of having an ethics code in the workplace and what leaders should do when it’s right versus right.
“It’s important to listen to your moral code and keep moral awareness in mind. There will always be a gap in business, but your job as a professional is to make it as small as possible,” said Bucaro.
Having taught moral theology and ethics for 18 years, Bucaro took a unique career path from the classroom to the boardroom. After a succession of high profile media reports on unethical practices in the marketplace captured his attention, he left teaching to start his own business and become an author.
“Frank Bucaro is known for providing practical ideas to help with difficult ethical decisions. His lecture was a valuable opportunity for students to learn from a nationally-recognized expert and gain a compass for ethical decisions,” said Dr. Donna Dudney, associate dean for undergraduate programs and student engagement and associate professor of finance.
Todd Herridge, section manager auto claims from State Farm Insurance which sponsored the lecture, prefaced the speaker by recognizing State Farm’s commitment to ethics and ethics education. Through the State Farm Lecture Series, the college has hosted more than 15 speakers on business ethics topics such as whistleblowing, operating ethically in a corrupt culture, leading with integrity and more.
Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business Administration, and CBA Student Ethics Board President Nick Theisen and Vice President Jessica Zubiate encouraged students to review and endorse the CBA Business Ethics Code Scroll. Founded in 1998, the Business Ethics Program at the college focuses on integrating ethics and the discussion of ethical issues throughout the college’s curriculum. In addition to the State Farm Lecture Series, the program maintains a library of resources and coordinates the CBA Student Ethics Board which created the student-written CBA Student Ethics Code Scroll. For more information, visit: cba.unl.edu/ethics