Sunday, April 24, 2005

We Don't Need Another Hero; We Just Need Another Marla: Marla Ruzicka, 1976-2005

Harvard Business Review, September 2001
We Don't Need Another Hero

"Everybody loves the stories of great leaders, especially great moral leaders. Think of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and Gandhi. We exalt these individuals as role models and celebrate their achievements. They represent, we proclaim, the gold standard of ethical behavior ... Or do they? I don't ask because I question the value of ethical behavior--far from it. I ask because over the course of my career as a specialist in business ethics, I have observed that the most effective moral leaders in the corporate world often sever the connection between morality and public heroism.": Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr., Professor, HBS

Before a road car-bomb killed her in Iraq, Marla Ruzicka wasn't a hero. "Now I wish I'd pushed harder so that more people might have known about her when she was doing her work," writes Christopher Allbritton, an Iraq-based journalist. But Marla was busier in the streets of Afghanistan and Iraq than she was looking for a best way to get into a prime-time spot. Marla learned that the most effective way to right moral wrongs was not through loud protests aired by CNN. Instead,--according to The Washington Post--through her quiet diplomacy, she earned the ears of journalists, generals, and politicians--most notably Sen. Patrich Leahy, D-Vermont, who helped her cause in obtaining $17.5 million appropriation fund for Afghanistan and Iraq war victims.

"No one can heal the wounds that have been inflicted; you just have to recognize that people had been harmed.": Marla Ruzicka, Founder and Director, CIVIC Worldwide

For more info: Wikipedia entry on Marla Ruzicka

No comments: