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In an article entitled “The Discipline of Building Character”, there was an example of how character was built in the workplace by means of applying ethical concepts amidst risks in decision-making. Badaracco, in his article “The Discipline of Building Character” mentioned that differences in education, belief, civilization, and culture make it hard for any two inhabitants to inspect a condition in the same way- let alone a whole grouping of people (Badaracco, 2002, p. 118).

In that case, it can be inferred in the situation experienced by Steve Lewis who is an African-American who was requested to attend a business presentation knowing that he was obviously a black representative in the business sector. The question was, how did he combine idealism and realism? The case of Lewis displayed an example of risk as opportunity when he decided to attend the business presentation despite the fact that there was interplay of races or color. He turned the difficult times of decision-making, whether to attend or not, into an opportunity to improve his stature in the business environment.

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What he did was that he requested his partner on that project that he intended to play a very relevant role in the project. However, there had been a slight part of the project that mandates a particular function of some fundamental analytical techniques wherein Lewis was known to have excelled (Badaracco, 2002, p. 118). Despite that fact that his expected participation in the presentation was only a little time, Lewis tried to practically work hard on the presentation.

On the other hand his assigned task of the project went fine and, he was given honor from his co-employees for that particular accomplishment (Badaracco, 2002, p. 118). Finally, due to the ability of Lewis to transform a difficult situation into an opportunity to reap rewards, he was able to stand up for his race as black in a business community where the white race dominates. He was able to maintain his ethical standards by risking his way of decision-making thereby putting realism into view.


Badaracco, J. L. (2002). The Harvard Business Review. The Discipline of Building Character. McGraw-Hill Companies, p. 115-124.

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