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How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing by Terrence E. Deal, Lee G. Bolman

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Chapter 13Searching for SoulLeadership Ethics

The frames or leadership lenses help leaders think better and make better decisions. But many of the decisions they face require choosing among imperfect options. This is the kind of situation that James E. Burke, CEO of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), faced in 1982 when news arrived that bottles of Tylenol, one of the company’s most profitable products, had been poisoned. On the one hand, he could pull the product from store shelves at a huge cost; on the other, he could take the chance that the tampering incident had been limited to the few bottles that were discovered. But then more people could die. Burke decided to pull the product, because a value in the J&J Credo calls for putting people—“doctors, ...

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