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103: Build Responsible Employees with Yonason Goldson (Part 1)
Episode 10322nd November 2020 • Business Breakthrough • Estie Rand
00:00:00 00:33:05

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How do you get your employees to take responsibilities for their actions? In the USA today everyone is big on their rights, but should we also be big on our responsibilities? Join us as Yonason Goldson shares his life experiences, from a cross country hitchhiker to ethics professor helping businesses create leaders that build responsibility in their staff.

My Guest: Yonason Goldson

Yonason Goldson is director of Ethical Imperatives, LLC, teaching professionals how good ethics is good business and the benefits of intellectual diversity. He’s a keynote and TEDx speaker, trainer, coach, and community rabbi, as well as a repentant hitchhiker, recovered circumnavigator, former newspaper columnist, and retired high school teacher in St. Louis. He’s authored hundreds of articles applying ancient rabbinic wisdom to the challenges of the modern secular world. He is the author of six books, most recently “Grappling with the Gray: an ethical handbook for personal success and business prosperity.” 

 Pivotal Moments:

·       When Yonason was in University California, he travelled all over the world; this had a broadening effect on his world view.

·       He got a degree in English which was stimulating, but not practical.

·       Yonason then came up with a different plan; he put on a backpack and hitch-hiked all over the country. It was very transformative.

·       Lived in Israel for 9 years, met his wife and had 2 kids there.

·       He started his career in Israel, teaching high school students.

·       He then taught in St Louis for 20 years, until the school he taught in, closed.

·       At the age of 55, he was jobless. He was not ready to retire.

·        Yonason always enjoyed teaching and speaking. He wanted to direct his message towards a professional audience.

·       His passion lay in ethical leadership, because ethics is the underpinning in everything. It’s the foundation of all living.

·       He targeted professional associations as a platform/keynote speaker for their conferences.

·       He reached out to them on his own, using the encyclopedia of associations.

The Advice:

Ethics begins where compliance ends. Compliance, laws and legal systems give us structure and boundaries; however ethics is all about the grey, because it is a grey area. This is what develops us as human beings; it’s that ethical discipline of thinking about what’s the right thing to do, how my actions impact those around us, how are my contributing to a better world. If I do, then I get to live in that better world, so being selfless is being selfish. If we have that attitude in our relationships, then we will succeed in everything. 

Current Struggle:

Struggle 1: Yonason’s struggle is finding the niche, because ethics applies to any business, but it is much more effective if one can identify the specific type of client. Yonason is thinking of looking into healthcare and medicine. As that is where he has gotten most of his clients.

Currently, covid has had a significant impact on his business, because the conferences, that were his target, haven’t been happening. He could join the corporate but that is too big.

The Breakthrough:

Estie advises that if Yonason is looking for corporate, he will be able to sell to them, because Estie doesn’t know any corporate executive who doesn’t want the ethical mindset of getting employees who look outside of themselves and performing above and beyond their call of duty. Business is an exchange of value for value. If Yonason wants to break into the corporate trainings, then he will have to look at what problems the business owners have. An example would be: Getting your employees to perform above capacity in a new zoom work culture.


Always do right, you will gratify some and astonish the rest.

Resources & Links:

Request your free copy of Yonason Goldson's ebook, The 7 Ethical Habits that Drive Successful Leadership:

Part 2 of this episode where you hear more go to

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