Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Ethics, Religion, and Father Greg Boyle, SJ

April 15, 2013

SolidarityBusiness ethics students often ask me what’s the connection between ethics and religion, and I stumble to answer, something like all religions share the Golden Rule, which is the heart of ethics. As Hillel said in the 1st century, “All else is commentary.”

And at the heart of the Golden Rule is the ability to see others as like you, not as “other.” Father Greg Boyle, SJ, must be the world champion at seeing others this way. And he does this in the unlikeliest of environments: the Latino gangland of South Los Angeles, where he ministers to/saves/employs/buries—and most of all, loves—gang members and ex-gang members, most of them covered in tattoos and recently released from incarceration. He created Homeboy Industries, which has given thousands on gang members a path to employment and responsibility.

I first heard Greg Boyle (“G-dog” to his “homies”) being interviewed by Krista Tippett on her “On Being” radio show. He’s such a compelling person that I immediately ordered and read his memoir, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. He’s (obviously) religious and I am not, but his steadfast belief that we are all the same before God is an attitude all of us, believers and not, could strive for. He calls his God “not the ‘one false move’ God but the ‘no matter what’ God.”

The book is heartwarming, funny, heartbreaking, and page-turning. Father Boyle is a man of unbelievable courage, love, compassion, and faith. And a heckuva storyteller.


Special offer on ethics seminars, and on The Ethics Challenge

July 13, 2012

1) I’ll visit your workplace or school and do a pro bono seminar on either

  • The Ethics Challenge: Essential Skills for Leading and Living, or
  •  The ABCs of Ethical Leadership

If the seminar is out of the LA commuting area I’ll ask you to cover my reasonable expenses.

2) Alternatively (or in addition), you can buy my latest book (co-authored with Mick Ukleja) in hard cover for only $10, with free shipping.

Here are the details on the offers: (more…)

“The Submission” and “Washington: A Life” head my list of favorite books in 2011

December 21, 2011


The Submission: A Novel by Amy Waldman. My favorite, about a design competition for the 9/11 memorial, won by a Muslim and leading to chaotic controversy.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Vintage) by Stieg Larsson. Much more than just a crime novel.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. An American searches for a colleague in the deepest Amazon


Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. A magisterial page-turner of a biography of the greatest American.

Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy. An Iranian-British reporter is seized and tortured by the Islamic Republic.

Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America by Morley Winograd and Michael Hais. Learn who will be running America in a few years.

Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America’s Future by Stephen Kinzer. The former New York Times Istanbul chief proposes new relationships with Turkey and Iran.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson. The American Ambassador to newly Nazified Germany and his adventurous daughter

Here If You Need Me: A True Story, by Kate Braestrup: A memoir by a middle-aged mother who was suddenly widowed11 years ago, then became a Unitarian-Universalist minister, and now works as chaplain to game wardens in Maine

1861: The Civil War Awakening, by Adam Goodheart. The beginnings of the Civil War