Monday, April 30, 2012

Ethics, Integrity and an Honest Day's Work

I recently joined the Business Ethics Alliance (BEA) founded here in Omaha. It's an amazing amalgamation of industries, business models, diversity, and energy. It's a thought-provoking exercise just milling through their printed materials, so I'm looking forward to their workshops, too.

A headline jumps out today in one of their pieces of literature:

What is our "Ethical Legacy?"  
Now that's a question for us all.  The answer lies in our Core Business Values as business leaders and members of a community. The pamphlet silently instructs what "Ethical Legacy" means and it begs us to figure out what our core business values are and when/where they apply in our lives. The organization has formed The Ethical Legacy Project, whose goal is to identify, articulate and communicate core values of the Omaha business community. Sounds pretty good.

For me, the relative importance of the task I am completing at any given moment put the values in slightly different places on the scale, but it certainly is good to have a strong base of equally important compasses. Whether I am estimating a job, ordering supplies for a client, creating a marketing plan, reporting the results of a campaign, inspecting delivered materials, entering an award contest or sending out a press release, I strive to remember and adhere to these values, which I have adapted for my company from the Legacy Project:

  • Accountability: Hold myself and others answerable; communicate expectations, provide feedback and ask for and implement fair corrective actions when appropriate.
  • Community Responsibility: Realize that my actions and the actions of my company carry a responsibility not just to me, but to my employees and vendors, clients and their customers, their families, my neighborhood, my different "communities," and my organization.
  • Financial Vitality: Strive to achieve sustainable financial success, driven by ethical management and systems. When the systems don't work, strive to improve them.
  • Integrity: Be genuinely respectful, honest, fair and trustworthy in all and to all. Do the ethical thing even when no one is looking. Hold others to the same standard of integrity and do business with others who share your values.
  • Moral Courage: Behave consistently, even when it is difficult, unpopular and comes at a cost. Don't look the other way when someone shows poor judgment or character against their community.

It's a good start for a Monday.

If you haven't heard of this organization, you should look them up:

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone heeded this advice.


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