Living the Oath

Thanks for your interest in helping to change the management profession. You and thousands of others are making business better. The Oath represents a personal commitment to lead with purpose, act with integrity, and understand the reach, power, and responsibility of business. By committing to what it represents you are joining thousands of other dedicated leaders changing the face of business one decision at a time.

Although taking an oath and making a personal pledge can be a key step for many individuals to change the way they do business—we know it alone is not always enough. It can be difficult to fully act on the values inherent in the oath when pressured by your boss, colleagues, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite.

The Oath Project is actively working to inspire change within both the academic and professional landscapes—but we should not underestimate the power of the personal commitment. The unique benefit of the oath is two fold: it gives the individual a way to personally commit to the values of responsible business and provides a larger professional community to support and enhance that commitment.

Some suggested practices for living the oath:

Sign up for our Monthly Moment. The Oath Project sends a monthly e-newsletter to highlight the work individuals, academic institutions, and organizations are doing surrounding the oath; share the stories of how people are living the oath; and give you a simple, consistent way to pause and reflect on your commitment at least for a moment, each month. If you have signed the oath via our pages you are automatically signed up to receive these emails. You can also subscribe via the subscribe button on our pages. We’d also really appreciate your help in reaching other signers: once you receive the Monthly Moment, please use the “forward to a friend” function to reach fellow signers or colleagues that you think would enjoy the monthly reminder or direct them to our page.

Celebrate your DailyFeats. The Oath Project has teamed up with DailyFeats—a new social media platform helping people make small changes to help face big challenges that threaten the foundations of our society. DailyFeats, like The Oath Project, believes that change starts with small actions, simple positive choices that people make every day. Sound familiar? Visit our landing page at to see all six “feats” based on the principles of the oath. The site allows you to check-in when you do something that exemplifies the oath, write a brief description of it, and then share it—or keep it private if you choose—with friends, family, coworkers, and larger social network. Public stories will be linked to our webpage to help other signers see how other supporters are living the oath, in decisions big and small through their daily feats.

Learn practical tools for speaking up. Pick up a copy of Mary Gentile’s Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right and become empowered with the skills to voice and act on the tenants of the oath and align your professional path with your principles. Challenging the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools, she argues that often the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Drawing on actual business experiences as well as social science research, Gentile offers advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas. The book is inspired by a curriculum Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, now housed at Babson College, with pilot programs in over 250+ schools and organizations on five continents. The Oath Project has teamed up with Mary Gentile to develop and pilot a seminar adaption of the curriculum to be implemented in conjunction with the oath to foster deeper discussion and integration of the oath while providing tangible skills for how to act on its principles in the business school space and beyond. To learn more or become a part of the pilot contact us here.

Designate a lifeline. The signer identifies a colleague, partner or friend who shares the commitment and agrees to be available in moments of reflection or confusion. This personal lifeline is an investment in continuing personal and professional growth. It recognizes that support from others and the opportunity to practice giving voice to values, is important in face of counterproductive pressures.

Utilize the power of groups. Individuals will encounter and have the opportunity to sign the oath in the course of education, at the workplace or through networks, both real and virtual. Formal or self-organizing groups that provide structured opportunity to revisit the oath on a periodic basis are another bulwark against counter veiling pressures and groupthink. Five year class reunions, annual employee meetings, web-based forums are all venues for on-going dialogue and reflection.