Practical insights for compliance and ethics professionals and commentary on the intersection of compliance and culture.

Compliance in Metallica lyrics

Is it surprising to consider that the legendary heavy metal band Metallica has any relevance at all to compliance and ethics?

While the connection may seem unlikely at first, a closer study of the band’s lyrics reveals numerous themes pertinent to organizational integrity, ethical decision-making, morality, and corporate compliance values and principles.

  • “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – Morality of war, life based on honor and other values

  • “Master of Puppets” – Tone at the top, conduct modelling

  • “Fight Fire with Fire” – High stakes of unethical behavior, limitations of narrow frameworks on making choices with integrity

  • “The Struggle Within” – Impact of culture of fear, ineffective communication and reporting preventing speaking up and speaking out

  • “…And Justice for All” – Unethical decision-making and organizational culture

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