Everyone, including customers, management, and employees perceive the ethics of a company. If Home Depot does something unethical, then the entire organization can be destroyed (see the case of Enron for an example). Therefore, a business needs to maintain ethical standards. Fortunately, for Home Depot there have been very few instances of unethical acts. However, in 2010, Home Depot fired one of its employees because she did not provide adequate medical information that required her to take time off. This is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Home Depot settled the case with the employee. These are the types of ethical problems that plague companies around the world. Had Marcus and Blank been the leaders during this time, their admiration of Home Depot’s employees would have prevented this type of event from happening.
We interpreted edge as the way leaders make healthy decisions when faced with difficult situations. A leader needs that edge in order to succeed in a business, and without it, the company can collapse on itself. Perhaps the most difficult decision faced with the company came in 2007 after Bob Nardelli resigned and left behind a poorly performing Home Depot. To replicate prior years earning and performance, the company decided to sell Home Depot Supply, the wholesale-distribution division for $10.3 billion. We believe it is too early to tell whether the decision paid off, but from a quick glance of Home Depot’s financials, it appears that the decision was the right one. The newly appointed CEO at the time was Frank Blake, who rekindled ties with the Marcus and Blank. It would be interesting to find out if Nardelli had supported this plan or if he was an opponent of it before his resignation.