Ethical Leaders in Government – What Can We Do?

This week’s presentation was by Lee Rasch, the Executive Director of LeaderEthics Wisconsin, a non-profit that promotes ethical leadership in elected officials and develops ideas and programs that enable individuals and groups to support achieving that goal. 

As we all are fully aware, America’s political divide has become a chasm in recent years, and digital media has played a critical role in developing and exacerbating the problem.  To counteract that trend, Rasch’s group emphasizes that ethical leadership involves truthfulness, transparency and a dedication to unification of the populace, not polarization. 

While most of us are often nonplussed when asked what each of us can do individually, he provided several examples of practical actions Rotarians can take to address this growing societal problem.   Some of these suggestions were: 1) make personal efforts to promote government transparency; 2) identify misinformation whenever it arises and follow websites that identify and rate media for factual accuracy and bias; 3) support those individuals who do ethical work, regardless of their political affiliation; 4) learn about and support organizations that are committed to ethical contributions to society (e.g. Rotary); 5) reach out to and support ethical next-generation leaders; and 6) most importantly, vote for candidates that will provide ethical leadership and let them know you expect them to meet that expectation. 

Given the fractionated state of our nation, we all have much to do in order to get us on a course leading to ethical leadership in government, but Rasch emphasized the time to start is now.  Hopefully, every Downtown Rotarian will begin by voting in the upcoming election and starting individual efforts that will lead to a more ethical and unified government for our country.

Our thanks to Lee Rasch for speaking to our club this week and to Linn Roth for preparing this review article. If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here:

We apologize for the technical difficulties experienced during this week’s speaker presentation when we were testing the use of Skype.  We realize now that the internet can be too unpredictable, so we will use a pre-recorded video for any future speaker who is unable to appear at our livestreamed meeting. 

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