While “corruption” sounds like a word reserved for members of the mafia or executive teams engaged in orchestrated illegal behavior, it actually applies to anyone engaged in dishonesty or twisting integrity. The person who “corrupts” the proper moral state of things practices corruption.

“Frost/Nixon” delivers a vivid picture of corruption in real life with its riveting reenactment of President Richard Nixon’s shocking assertion that “when the president does it, it’s not illegal.” Use this astonishing moment in history to get employees thinking about potential corruption in the workplace: how people twist ethical business practices by operating under a “special” set of rules or viewing themselves as “above” certain regulations.

NOTE: For our purposes, the lesson ends at 2:53, after Richard Nixon won’t answer Frost’s question.


How does this scene demonstrate corruption?

How have you seen people in our industry bend and “corrupt” laws or regulations?

Why might a person believe certain rules don’t apply to them?

When are you tempted to “bend” the rules?

What are the possible consequences for bending those rules?

Where should you go if you witness corrupt behavior in a client, vendor or co-worker?




Bryan Belknap, an award-winning screenwriter and speaker, is Creative Director at Resonate Pictures, which specializes in story-based training and branding films. His new ebook “How to Teach Ethics and Compliance with Hollywood Movie Clips” is available for free download.


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