A "technical" Violation

USOC CEO Lloyd Ward just doesn’t get it. He somehow thought that membership in a major organization discriminating against women (Augusta National Golf Club) wasn’t relevant to his position at the USOC. Now he feels that trying to steer business towards a company employing his brother is a technical ethics violation.

This is the same thinking that got Corporate America into it’s current ethical crisis. It’s thinking that ethics is about rules, and that acts not expressly forbidden are permissable. The reality is that ethics is about motives and intent and all sorts of grey areas.

Ward should have realized that his actions were leading him into a grey area. His description of his actions as a technical violation indicates that he thought he was following the rules, but that he just didn’t understand the rules in depth at the time.

He should realize that handling his punishment during his yearly review would appear to many as if they’re sweeping the problem under a rug and hoping that all would be forgotten.