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Don Soderquist, on why ethics are important

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While I was at SHRM’s annual conference out in San Diego last week, I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking with Don Soderquist, founding executive of The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics and former chief operating officer of Wal-Mart, about the importance of ethics and values in business leadership. Among his insights:

  • “Values are really the filters through which we process the decisions that we make — and it’s extremely important that we have good filters,” he says. Problems arise when not everyone has the same filters.
  • If values are touted at your company but not put into practice, it’s even worse than if you hadn’t mentioned them in the first place. “It is in the acting out of our values on a day-to-day basis that they become alive,” he says.
  • Among the key values at Soderquist’s company: trust, integrity and a focus on customer satisfaction. “To me, integrity is at the top of the list.”

Watch our full interview with Soderquist, as well as other conversations with HR thoughtleaders from Smartbrief’s video series with