Defining Moments by Joseph E. Badaracco
The tie-in for Badaracco’s Defining Moments to Spiritual Warfare is tenuous, but important. In my academic work, I cite him as a support for my position that Christian ethics provide the appropriate tools for leaders to fight the forces of chaos in the natural world. As the Professor of Business Ethics at the Harvard Business School, Badaracco should be taken seriously when he explains that “in the last two decades many companies have introduced mission statements, credos and similar guides to ethical decision making only to find that they are too vague to express what is inescapably complex, or they are merely inspirational dross that inspires only cynicism.”
Implied in his critique is a need for an ethical framework that allows managers to navigate what he calls “Defining Moments” of leadership. These moments occur when leaders face decisions that conflict with their personal values.
Badaracco’s advice is ultimately practical. He draws on the insights of Aristotle, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, and Joyce (not a particularly strong Christian lineup!) to illustrate three case studies of increasing complexity.
If you believe that supernatural evil exists in the world, then you must consider that it manifests itself in material ways. Badaracco helps us to understand that our current approach to ethics is insufficient to deal with that challenge. Defining Moments points to a critical need for a moral and ethical decision-making process. In my view, understanding that fact is the first step on the path to combating the evils that we face.