Sales and Leadership Insights

On Ethics and Morality – with Yonason Goldson, the Ethics Ninja

In this podcast episode, we hear from Yonason Goldson, known as the “ethics ninja,” who imparts the wisdom of always being prepared with something compelling to say. This advice, which he received during his rabbinic training in Israel, has proven invaluable in his roles as a community rabbi, a teacher, and a professional speaker. Goldson emphasizes the importance of being ready to offer relevant and engaging ideas at a moment’s notice, which has earned him a reputation for reliably presenting valuable insights.

Phil Gerbyshak, the host, delves into Goldson’s experiences and the lessons he learned from being thrust into speaking opportunities without prior notice. Goldson shares an anecdote from his training days when the dean of his program demonstrated the significance of impromptu speaking, which left a lasting impression on him. Goldson explains that the active participation in such an exercise left a deeper impact than simply being taught the lesson verbally.

The conversation shifts to leadership and the necessity for leaders to communicate clearly, especially during challenging times. Goldson cites historical figures like Harry Truman as examples of leaders who embodied integrity and made unpopular decisions for the greater good. He stresses that true leadership involves making difficult choices and standing by one’s principles, regardless of immediate popularity.

As the discussion turns to the challenges of maintaining a long-term perspective in leadership, Goldson and Gerbyshak ponder how leaders can sustain their influence and adhere to their values in a landscape often dominated by short-term thinking. Goldson asserts that having moral clarity, historical awareness, and intellectual integrity is crucial for engaging in civil and productive dialogue.

The two also touch on the need for genuine recognition and praise in leadership, as opposed to empty gestures like participation trophies. They agree that specific, earned recognition is far more meaningful than generic accolades. Goldson highlights the importance of setting clear expectations, providing the necessary resources, and offering constructive feedback to foster a trusting environment where individuals can thrive.

In closing, Goldson offers advice for leaders who struggle with communication. He suggests asking questions and actively listening to others as a starting point for better understanding and empathy. By acknowledging the concerns of others and being open to suggestions, leaders can build a more cohesive and motivated team.

Goldson concludes by encouraging leaders to consistently demonstrate positive behaviors and to actively seek opportunities to address the concerns of their team. The episode wraps up with Gerbyshak thanking Goldson for his insights and mentioning his book, “Grappling with the Grey,” available at, along with his podcast of the same name.

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Phil Gerbyshak is the brains and eyeglasses behind Happy AF. I promise to share my most helpful insights with you right here and make it worth your while.