Editors note - This is another in our series of articles from "non technology" sources which can affect your business or organization. - Enjoy!
Are you an ethical business person?? I ask the question because most of us would answer affirmatively, yet I propose that too few of us really consciously consider the ethics of a business decision when we’re weighing our options. I believe it is important that this issue of ethics take on a more conscious, deliberate role in our business decision making.
In a nutshell, the issue of ethics boils down to asking yourself, “What price am I willing to pay for this decision, and can I live with that price?” This process can be helped by defining each letter of the word, ETHICS.
E = EXPERIENCE. The values we carry with us into adulthood, and into business, are those which were modeled to us, usually by a parent, teacher, or some other significant adult. Some say these values were taught to us, but I say they were caught! You can’t teach values, you live them! How people behave and the decisions they make, speak much louder and are more convincing that what they say. Remember, experience is not what happens to you, but what you do about what happens to you!
T = TRAINING. Training means educating yourself to keep the question of ethics fresh in your mind deliberately. Too often, if our information doesn’t match up with our experience, we toss the information aside. That may or may not be the appropriate action. The information may be very valid and and only apparent after careful consideration and analysis of the issue we face.
H = HINDSIGHT. What have we learned from the experiences of others? Ourselves? Success leaves clues that we need to tap into in order to help us make that tough decision. What if the problem you face, was the problem of the person you admire most in life? What would he/she do?? This will give you a reflective direction by which to help in your decision-making.
I =INTUITION. What does your ”gut” tell you is the right thing to do? Some call it conscience, or insight. Whatever you call it, there are times when a “gut” call is needed. How do you know when you’ve gone against your “gut”? You feel guilt, shame, remorse, have a restless, sleepless night, etc. These are a few signs that tell us we’ve gone against our own moral conscience. Now the decision is what to do about it???
C =COMPANY. How will your decision affect the company, the people who work with and/or for you, your customers and your family? Decision- making is like throwing a rock in a pond, no matter how big/small the rock is, when it hits the water, water is displaced. No matter how big or small your decision is, it affects other people in your life and that must be a consideration before making the decision.
S = SELF ESTEEM. How do you derive your self esteem? Is it based on material gain? Is it based on using one’s gifts and talents for the benefit of all? One is not necessarily exclusive of each other, rather it is a matter of priority. The greatest ethical decision is one that builds one’s self esteem through the accomplishment of goals based on how these goals positively impact those around you.
ETHICS IS WHAT YOU DO WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING. It starts in our minds, where we become what we think based on our experience, training, hindsight, intuition, affect on the company and self esteem. We must factor this issue of ethics into all of our decision making and carefully analyze what price we and others around us, will have to pay for that decision.
Frank Bucaro’s, CSP, CPAE, programs on ethics and values combine practical ideas, humor, and motivation, to produce a high impact experience for the participants. For additional information about Frank at The Frog Pond Group at firstname.lastname@example.org