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It's hard to find books about ethical behavior, except maybe good behavior in extremis. Man bites dog is a story, not the other way 'round, after all. And "dog nicely licks hand" is certainly not a story. I have a lot of books, and I wonder if I could find five that don't discuss unethical behavior if only as counterexample illustrations. Certainly no novels that don't.

Among the best though: Barbarians at the Gate, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, most books concerning the history of medicine and any Trump biography published after he leaves office, no doubt. Any Jobs biography. The story of NeXT - his European head committed fraud that brought the company down.

Years ago I read an excellent biography of John D. MacArthur, the Insurance giant that would suit you well. Famous now for the "Genius Grants" given out by the MacArthur Fellows Program. John D. Rockefeller (who would argue his own virtues, of course.) Wolf of Wall Street.

On my list to read:

Images of organization Paperback – Jan 1997 by Gareth Morgan (Author) https://www.amazon.ca/Images-organization-Gareth-Morgan/dp/0...

The Organization Man by William H. Whyte http://a.co/2kRfJHA

The above 2 books said to be consistent with The Gervais Principle:

https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-...

Plus The Prince of War: Billy Graham's Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire by Cecil Bothwell http://a.co/17NKkDg

and

MOTHER TERESA: The Untold Story by Aroup Chatterjee http://a.co/hqumhdA

Plus a small pile of (contemporary) books about slavery, and slavery as a business, most in the public domain, now.

One problem you might encounter is that sociopaths often do very well in business, but are not always interesting in a story-sense because their self-concern is so predictable. Mere lack of empathy isn't a motive, so wrapping a detailed story around that is pretty hard.




Thanks for all the recommendations! My question came from a sort of personal anecdote. A situation that made clear how many people are successfull because they play in the “grey” area and usually the people just trying to do the right thing get screwed.

Of course thinking that the doing the right thing gets you the best results is naive but I still think it’s knda crazy to know that a lot of people we consider to be references might be there because they played dirty a few times while climbing the ladder.


Yeah, "grey" is a VERY interesting question. You have me there. I definitely wasn't grey enough when I was younger, and that could hurt others, not just my results.




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