Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground -
Developing Organizations of Character

What's at stake in the battle for the ethical high ground? Everything. Everything we depend upon in our capitalist, free enterprise system. We stand today at the brink of a full scale corporate leadership credibility crisis.

BusinessWeek recently stated: "Things have gotten so bad that even CEOs untouched by the scandal - the overwhelming majority - are feeling tainted."

Henry M. Paulson, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs...told the National Press Club that: "I cannot think of a time when business over all has been held in less repute."

Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill expressed his sentiments bluntly when he remarked, "I think anyone who's paying attention ought to be outraged about the things that keep tumbling out."

Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground goes straight to the heart of the issues facing the corporate community. It exposes the problem that caused the current business crisis, examines the effect of ethical compromise at both the executive and organizational levels and provides the solution.

ISBN 0-9709908-1-2
160 Pages,
Hardcover $24.95

Recovery from this corporate crisis will not be easy, but it is possible. Public confidence can only be restored by executive leaders who are unafraid to raise the bar and commit to maintaining high ethical standards, both individually and organizationally.

"There can be no other solution to the problem of restoring confidence aside from effective leadership tenaciously committed to maintaining high ethical standards." ~ John Di Frances

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“Powerful...a much needed answer for today’s corporate crisis.” - KEN BLANCHARD

“John Di Frances speaks passionately and eloquently about the need for revitalization in American business ethics.” ARCHIE DUNHAM - Chairman & CEO Conoco Oil, Inc.

“Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground is not only timely, it’s timeless.” EDWARD EMMA - President, Jockey International


The Midwest Book Review
“The Small Press Bookwatch” -- The Business Shelf

Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground: Developing Organizations of Character by business and industry consultant John Di Frances is a hard look at the contemporary crisis in confidence brought about by a seemingly pervasive, incompetent, greedy, and immoral corporate leadership. Going straight to the heart of the problem in the current business crisis that has led to the collapse of the stock market and a free-fall of consumer and investor confidence, Di Frances clearly and candidly lays out just what can be done about it, and the qualities good leaders need to help fallen business giants get back on their feet. Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground is a very much-needed antidote for today's climate of corporate scandals and should be required reading by anyone having a responsibility for the corporate health of their company whether it is local, regional, national, or international in scope. (Emphasis added.

Heartland Reviews
Business Books
Reviewer: Bob Spear
Rating: 4 Hearts

Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground is a text on how the loss of trust of corporations and their leaders has adversely affected consumerism and the market place. Mr. Di Frances is eminently qualified to write on this subject, having leadership experience in the higher levels of global corporations and Federal Government agencies. He has taught ethics and leadership to industry for many years. He comes with endorsements from the captains of industry. He goes far beyond defining the problem. He uses examples from both corporate and military history to explain why personal integrity and ethical values are essential to the point where history would have been negatively impacted without their application at key events. Finally, he provides clear cut guidelines for corporate values and mission statements which he urges be taught in our business schools.

This is an essential guideline for reclaiming the public's trust, respect, and purchasing power. We rated this manual a high four hearts.
Norman Goldman
Rated: “Excellent!”

“Armed with a wealth of references, Di Frances methodically exposes how certain companies have shown a lack of integrity and are motivated by pure profit.... Di Frances offers a blueprint of ethical business principles that he feels should be imbedded into a company's modus operandi..... [His] principles...emphasize integrity and ethical behavior. It is these two elements that must be foremost in developing executives as moral individuals. Companies must strive to ensure that the decisions they make are not only profitable, but that they are ethical as well. Moreover, a company's environment must exhibit sound moral leadership, wherein values and standards are never to be compromised.... The author's bold approach will certainly 'rattle a few feathers,' however, this is the kind of straight talk we need to hear from more of our business leaders.” (Emphasis added.)

Today's Books
“Best Reads”
Rating: “!!!! Exceptional....”

(This rating reflects the top ten percent of books published and distributed in America each year.) (Emphasis added)


Corporate Report Wisconsin

“The author opens his discussion of ethical values in the corporate workplace by pondering what's at stake in the battle for the moral high ground. His answer is anything but subtle: 'Everything we depend on in our capitalist, free enterprise system.'

Reading Di Frances' argument on what needs to transpire for corporations to achieve and maintain a standard of high ethical behavior, one initially feels he is overstating the obvious. Of course, if this were true, then names like Enron, Arthur Andersen, Quest, WorldCom and others would not have become household words in the past year.

Di Frances takes to task the CEOs of these and other companies for believing what he calls the “big lie”--compromise is a prerequisite for success. As a counterpoint, he provides both historical and contemporary examples of business leaders who have maintained the highest ethical standards, even as their companies have continued to grow....”

Doors and Hardware
Sue Shebib

“...Reclaiming the Ethical High Ground: Developing Organizations of Character, a new book by business ethicist John Di Frances, addresses the crisis currently plaguing corporate America. Providing unique insights, this timely book exposes the issues underlying the present ethical debacle and offers relevant and practical solutions.

After years of working with business leaders all over the world, Di Frances is convinced that business leaders can lead ethically and still be successful.... Di Frances plots out key concepts that leaders can use as the beginning guidelines for developing their own ethical corporate conscience....

...Di Frances profiles historical examples and companies who have remained unwavering in their ethical principles and have succeeded financially as a result of, and in some cases in spite of , public opinion. Berkshire Hathaway, FedEx, Johnson and Johnson, and Wendy's International are a few examples of companies who have maintained the public's trust over the years through their ethical practices....

With great clarity and skill, the author provides background information on the fall of Corporate America's leaders and businesses, while inspiring readers to envision new solutions outside of simply abiding by government regulations. His use of historical figures such as Arthur Andersen, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and even General John Buford (Union Cavalry leader at the battle of Gettysburg) as examples of leaders who had much influence on those they lead provide colorful examples that illustrate the author's points effectively. This book is really a call to arms to defend what remains of American ethical business leadership and serves as an introductory manual on how to establish new standards for the future.”

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