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Ethical Examples: Michele Glaze on Her Decision Making Process

Michele Glaze was nominated for a 2022 Ethics in Business Award in the Individual category. 

RecognizeGood: One of the things that I think we’ve realized is that individual values end up forming an organization’s set of values to some degree. A founder’s values can set the course, but everyone brings their own individual values to work – and you hope to hire individuals whose values are aligned. How much does it matter for you that your individual values are aligned with company values?

Michele Glaze: Individual values matter a great deal as I choose to select a company or organization or job. I’ve got to be me! You can take the loud, laughable Michele, but also the “gotta get it done,” make-it-happen-fast Michelle.

I’m a very transparent person, I’m very authentic, and I like to have a little fun. I look for that in the organizations that I work for.

RecognizeGood: What’s is one quality that has served you well in business, whether that’s nonprofit business or for-profit business?

MG: I think one of the skills that has served me very well is being an effective communicator. I know when to pause. I know when to push. I know when to bring something out and listen to somebody else, but I also know when to share information.

That’s been very valuable in all the different jobs that I’ve had. I have a degree in public relations, which is about building mutually beneficial relationships, and I think that’s what the role of communications can do.

RecognizeGood: Is there something in someone else that you have admired or that you’ve tried to emulate?

MG: That’s a really interesting question. I think what I’ve seen in very strong, amazing women like the other nominees in this category, they chart their own path. They stay true to who they are, and they work with the people in the organization to bring their vision to life – I look to emulate that in what I do.

RecognizeGood: When something is not immediately obvious in terms of what the right thing to do is, do you lead with your heart or do you like taking in the information and taking a minute to give them a measured response? Or is it a balance of both?

MG: My path for making a decision really focuses on two things: my gut and my experience. I do lead with what I think is the right thing to do based upon my experience in business, but [also] based upon the values and morals that I was raised with. Honesty, integrity, and treating people with respect.

But we’ve also got to get some work done! So I can make decisions – no everyone can, but I can make them quick and fast because I’ve also learned that sometimes you don’t have to make the perfect decision, just make the right decision and then we can go back and amend and change as we need to.

RecognizeGood: What’s the benefit of having trust in the grand scheme of getting things done?

MG: For me, my team makes me successful and so for the team that I work with to be successful and understand who I am, I need to show my true self. Be authentic. Laugh a little too loud. Tell all my funny, punny jokes – because I have lots of those – but also, be vulnerable. Let them know when I’m struggling, when I’m having frustrations, and then share the lessons that I’ve learned – because most of the folks that I work with are still new to their profession or they are learning to grow in their career themselves, and so I just try to impart my own personal wisdom.

RecognizeGood: What do you hope Michele is known for, under this “ethics umbrella?”

MG: Gosh, I’m in the ethics umbrella?

I hope people remember me for being true to myself, true to my faith, and true to my family – and that family extends to the teams that I work with. I treat my colleagues as friends and family. When I have something to celebrate, I celebrate it with them. When they have something to celebrate, I want to celebrate it with them.

This honor is so amazing, just to be nominated. It was very heartwarming and very touching.

My dad was in the Air Force, so I’m an Air Force brat. The mission of the Air Force is ‘service above self,’ so I think that’s one of the things I want people to remember about me – I put others before myself. But don’t tell my kids that!

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