Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin speaks at Beard Institute Ethics Luncheon

May 9, 2012
Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin speaks at Beard Institute Ethics Luncheon

The Beard Institute of the Palumbo/Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University hosted an Ethics Luncheon April 12th at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, PA.  The Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin, Vice President and General Counsel, The Pennsylvania State University and  Retired Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court spoke about "The Responsibility of Ethical Leadership."

Justice Baldwin began by noting the importance of children and asked the audience to pray for them.  "They are the future."  She stated her qualifications to speak on the subject of ethical leadership including being a Fulbright Scholar, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and her many years of life experience and then related this quote "Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get and experience is what happens when you don't get what you want."  She said that sometimes we do not emphasize ethics giving these college courses a lower number of credits, but that was changing. However, there are times when people redefine ethics because of a situation thereby causing an ethical slide to begin.

Judge Baldwin noted that leaders influence others to buy into their vision. After giving examples of business people who exhibited leadership, she confirmed that a responsible leader is rational, result-oriented, reputation-concerned, a reasonable risk taker, reliable, reflective and has a relationship with the work force. But most of all, a leader must have integrity and humility.  "Integrity means possessing an inner core of principles and values, being aware of the core and always abiding by that core." People follow or model a leader's behavior. She further stated that "leaders should encompass integrity and should have core principles and values."  This equates to leaders having predictable reactions, throwing no tantrums, treating others with respect and ensuring that credit is spread widely.  A leader should also exhibit humility and "understand their own sense of humanity and ability to make mistakes."  She said that the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling relates many leadership qualities.

Justice Baldwin was asked to relate which of her prestigious leadership positions meant the most to her and she responded, "Being a mother."