"Defining moments," according to Badaracco, occur when managers face business problems that trigger difficult, deeply personal questions. In deciding how to act, managers reveal their inner values, test their commitment to those values, and ultimately shape their characters. Badaracco builds a framework for approaching these dilemmas around three cases of increasing complexity, reflecting the escalating responsibilities managers face as they advance in their careers. The first story presents a young man whose choice will affect him only as an individual; the second, a department head, whose decision will influence his organization; the third, a corporate executive, whose actions will have much larger, societal ramifications. To guide the decision-making process, Badaracco draws on the insights of four philosophers--Aristotle, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, and James--because they offer practical rather than theoretical advice. He thus bridges the gap between classroom philosophy and corporate pragmatism. The result is a flexible framework that managers can draw on to resolve issues of conflicting responsibility in practical ways.