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I believe we are in an era of great leadership need. We have to step up and help people. The focus on transactional leadership is being replaced by institutional courage and servant leadership. Join me in the discussion. I'd love to speak at your next conference, workshop or gathering.

11 Steps to Promote Institutional Courage

(based on Freyd, 2018; updated March 2022)


  1. Comply with human rights laws and go beyond mere compliance; beware risk management

  2. Educate the institutional community (especially leadership)

  3. Add checks and balances to power structure and diffuse highly dependent relationships

  4. Respond well to victim disclosures (& create a trauma-informed reporting policy)

  5. Bear witness, be accountable, apologize

  6. Cherish the whistleblowers; cherish the truth tellers

  7. Conduct scientifically-sound anonymous surveys

  8. Regularly engage in self-study

  9. Be transparent about data and policy

  10. Use the organization to address the societal problem

  11. Commit on-going resources to 1-10



July 2012 - PRESENT


I am available to assist your organisation on suitable projects.  Please contact me to discuss.

Leaders Must Address Institutional Betrayal & Moral Injury in order to Succeed

Leaders Must Address Institutional Betrayal & Moral Injury in order to Succeed

In this video, I'm discussing leaders' need to address institutional betrayal and moral injury in order to succeed. Too often, leaders are forced to face the consequences of institutional betrayal and moral injury. It can often result in expensive workers' compensation claims. If institutional betrayal is not addressed, these consequences can have a negative impact on a leader's career and the ability to lead effectively. This video discusses the consequences of institutional betrayal and how leaders can address them to achieve success. Moral Injury is complicated. It's usually involves betrayal and in business it extends to systems and the structure of those systems. It's no surprise therefore that today’s story is complicated, but so too is the subject matter so stay with me: Systemic and Structural Abuse of women fleeing intimate partner violence and dually being abused and injured at work is at an epidemic proportion and we aren't talking about it anywhere near enough, in order to put pressure on these institutions for care, help and change. This week Respect@work laws passed Parliament but how do we embed these laws that institutional betrayal ends. When someone is harmed, can the institution respond with care and compassion. Can it show servant leadership and build cultures of care across our workplaces All of these things throw women into poverty. Many are unable to recover from the added burden of structural abuse. Apart from the mental health injuries, structural abuse exacerbates involving the intersection of systems it is impossible for many to distance themselves from the urgent imperatives caused by economic abuse. Family law, workers' compensation, financial institutions. It goes on and on. Systems have been structurally set up to automate and compartmentalise women. Help is the last thing on these institutions' planning and policy agenda. Structural betrayal is toxic. The trauma is immense. Sometimes we experience the pain with eyes wide open. Other times, we can be blind to betrayal: we simply don’t see it, or refuse to see it, because the institution is that important to us. Or we put our job and career before the very people we are meant to serve. Whether we see it or not, it hurts us and it hurts others. Institutions, too, can be ruined by betrayal. Scandal after scandal eventually takes it’s toll and so the cycle of moral injury continues. People disengage and defect from institutions, corporations and indeed governments they cannot trust. Over time, we lose faith in the social compact, and in each other. At the moment our systems are very broken. We have to rebuild and design with a culture of human care. At the heart of everything we do. I hope you enjoy today’s conversation.
How Ken Weinberg led the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to help grieving families and the world.

How Ken Weinberg led the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to help grieving families and the world.

The inspiration for the Netflix film 'Worth,' starring Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, and Amy Ryan: the true story of the man put in charge of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, and a testament to the enduring power of family, grief, love, fear, frustration, and courage. If you enjoyed the movie you will love the book - Kenneth (Ken) is the inspiration of the Netflix Film, 'Worth' and the man who was put in charge of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. He was known as the Special Master. Just days after September 11, 2001, Kenneth Feinberg was appointed to administer the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, a unique, unprecedented fund established by Congress to compensate families who lost a loved one on 9/11 and survivors who were physically injured in the attacks. Those who participated in the Fund were required to waive their right to sue the airlines involved in the attacks, as well as other potentially responsible entities. When the program was launched, many families criticized it as a brazen, tight-fisted attempt to protect the airlines from lawsuits. The Fund was also attacked as attempting to put insulting dollar values on the lives of lost loved ones. The families were in pain. And they were angry. Over the course of the next three years, Feinberg spent almost all of his time meeting with the families, convincing them of the generosity and compassion of the program, and calculating appropriate awards for each and every claim. The Fund proved to be a dramatic success with over 97% of eligible families participating. It also provided important lessons for Feinberg, who became the filter, the arbitrator, and the target of family suffering. Feinberg learned about the enduring power of family grief, love, fear, faith, frustration, and courage. Most importantly, he learned that no check, no matter how large, could make the families and victims of 9/11 whole again. Even after finishing the disbursements for the 9/11 attacks, Feinberg was not finished. Feinberg’s firm became the go-to law firm to administer compensatory funds following other tragedies. The mass shootings at Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. The 2010 BP oil spill. Victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Rob Chesnut talks How To Build A Workplace Ethics and Integrity Culture

Rob Chesnut talks How To Build A Workplace Ethics and Integrity Culture

Rob Chesnut works with companies to help them develop strategies to drive integrity into their culture. He was, until May 27, 2020, the Chief Ethics Officer of Airbnb Inc., a role he took on after nearly 4 years as Airbnb’s General Counsel. Airbnb, Inc. is a $30 billion private global travel and payments company that operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to rent short-term lodging including homes, apartments and rooms, and to participate in local experiences. The company has over 4 million lodging listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries and has facilitated over 500 million guest check ins. Rob is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia. He worked for 14 years with the U.S. Justice Department, including 10 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Northern Virginia. As a federal prosecutor, Rob ran the Major Crimes unit and prosecuted a wide variety of cases, including bank robberies, kidnappings, murder, and drug trafficking organizations. He handled the prosecution of CIA, FBI and other employees of the intelligence community for espionage, including CIA employee Aldrich Ames. He is the recipient of the Justice Department’s John Marshall Award for litigation, and the CIA’s Outstanding Service Medallion. In 1999, Rob left the U.S. Attorney’s Office and moved to California to become eBay’s third attorney, handling a wide variety of litigation, IP and regulatory/compliance matters for the company globally. Rob was promoted to run the company’s North American legal division in 2001, and in 2004 he was promoted to eBay’s executive leadership team as Sr. Vice President of a newly created Trust and Safety department. As the founder and head of eBay Trust and Safety, Rob was responsible for overseeing all site rules and policies for the eBay global community of over 150 million users, and building the first ecommerce person to person platform trust and safety team. Rob and his team built eBay’s fraud detection and prevention infrastructure, and his team of over 2000 employees reduced reported fraud and counterfeiting activity on eBay’s 20+ sites by 60% over 4 years. Rob was eBay’s spokesperson for site policies and fraud, and he was interviewed in over 200 television, newspaper, radio, and magazine stories for his pioneering role in combating Internet fraud. He left eBay in the fall of 2008 to become the General Counsel of LiveOps, Inc. in Santa Clara, CA, and moved to Chegg in 2010 as the general counsel and the company’s first lawyer. Rob set up Chegg’s legal department, and as a member of the executive team helped transform the company from a physical textbook rental site to a multi-service digital learning platform. He led the effort to take Chegg public on the NYSE in the fall of 2013, where it enjoys a market cap of over $4 billion. Rob joined Airbnb in the spring of 2016, where he grew the legal team from 30 to over 150 legal professionals in 20 offices around the world. His team led initiatives to promote home sharing and address regulatory issues with local governments and landlords around the world. He was honored as one of the Financial Times Global 25 General Counsel in 2018. Rob developed a popular interactive employee program, Integrity Belongs Here, to help drive ethics throughout the culture at the company. Rob has served on a number of advisory boards for internet marketplace startup businesses, including Uber, Upwork, Turo, and Poshmark. He lives in San Francisco, CA, and spends his spare time playing basketball with his son and watching his daughter’s theatre performances.