Today, an interview of Dean Nohria by was published by the Wall Street Journal. The title of the article was "A Dose of Humility with a Harvard MBA." The question was whether ethics can be taught, and if your ethical standards are set by the time you are twenty-one years old:
WSJ: The things people end up doing when they're tempted seem to be a failure of moral compass. But by the time you're in business school, [is it] a little late to be teaching those things?
Mr. Nohria: Abraham Lincoln said that people think that the real test of a person's character is how they deal with adversity. A much better measure of a person's character is to give them power. I've been more often disappointed with how people's character is revealed when they've been given power. I have learned that in a very modest ways even as having become dean. How I inhabit this new sense of self and learn to stay grounded is going to be as important to the formation of my character as anything I've learned from my parents.
The general belief about moral and character development [is] this is something that we learn at home, as adolescents. I actually think the formation of character is a lifelong process.