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    Richard Shell: The Conscience Code


    This episode is proudly sponsored by WorkStep. WorkStep makes the supply chain a better place to work. WorkStep’s leading software empowers companies to hire and retain their hourly workforce for the long run, while improving outcomes for critical frontline workers. For more information on WorkStep, visit

    Show Notes

    • “Nobody has prepared these people that are in career transitions. This is becoming an increasing problem in professional life.” [2:46] Marcel leads into the discussion surrounding big asks in the professional world that go against morals and conscience. 
    • “Most people perceive value based moral conflicts at work as career OR conscience. This book and my work is to show how we can have career AND conscience…I’m trying to help people learn how to stand and fight.” [11:27] Richard explains the reasoning and need behind his teaching and his book.
    • “Why do scandals keep happening? Regardless of what generation you grow in, it’s almost like we expect it to happen.” [17:27] Marcel comments on how moral conflicts are challenged in a very common way. 
    • “This is the secret of why it happens…they can access a face-saving rationalization for doing it and the rationalization the mind is trying to promote on interest, the greedy part of our minds. It’s like a mechanism and depending on how much power you have, you can draw others in.” [18:10] Richard talks about the motivation that creates conflict are values in the professional world.
    • “In the end, moral injury is what creates burn out. When you’re sliced and diced enough at work that you no longer recognize yourself as a moral person. So it really is a matter of protecting yourself.” [27:31] Richards gives a profound statement surrounding moral injury, supporting the need to face conflict and make changes. 
    • “What role does our personality play in ethical conflict? Because we’re all different.” [31:45] Marcel comments on how an individual’s personality & values affect how they respond to conflict.
    • “So personality in terms of how you process conflict, and some people over-do it, it’s not just under doing it. Self-awareness in terms of how you manage conflict is a really important starter in becoming effective. I’m trying to help people think not conscience or career but career AND conscience.” [33:16] Richard knows that everyone responds differently to conflict but the ultimate goal is to choose career and conscience.
    • “Don’t be a loan ranger. You’ve got to bring in people that share your values with you, that will help you stand up to things that are going on that are unethical.” [34:47] Marcel points out to involve allies to help you stand up to conflict and provide support.
    • “The template, I borrow from the fighter pilot strategy book, it’s called the OODA Loop and the letter stands for first Observe, and that’s face the conflict. Second O – own it, make it your responsibility. Third, Decide, survey the options. Then A is Act… and then start the loop again.” [36:10] Richard explains his simple template for helping his students make the plan to tackle these moral conflicts. 
    • “The last rule that I’m gonna jump right to is rule number ten, and that’s ‘Choose to Lead’ and it seems appropriate to me because everything rises and falls on leadership. This is how you end your book, so when we choose to lead with our values, lead with courage, you’re saying we advance our career and achieve success?” [39:25] Marcel gets Richard to explain the importance of leadership.

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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