Developing Business Integrity
Developing Business Integrity: Let Your Body Parts Show You How
By Ken Tanner
Use Your Body Parts To Stay Ethical
We all want to make the ethical choice, but sometimes it's tough knowing what the right choice is. Colleges teach courses on ethics, preachers shout guidance from the pulpit, and Momma did her best to bring us up right, but still we wrestle with choosing the right path.
So, how can you navigate this stormy course? Here is how. God made you in His own image and there's a good chance that includes some of the body parts. You can use those parts for direction. What parts? Use your brain, nose, heart, and guts.
Use your brain Your brain is your first line of defense against unethical behavior. Asking: Does this make sense? will usually solve the problem for you. Good things, right choices, and correct actions make sense. Bad choices are associated with confusion.
Sometimes ethical lines are crossed when we do stupid things. I once helped a man secure a nice position with a major restaurant chain. His qualifications were powerful. For instance, he had two bachelor degrees to offer, when the position didn't even require one. Then, during a routine verification of his resume, it was discovered that he did not have two degrees. He only had one. He was fired because he lied on his application. The company rationalized that if he was unethical enough to lie about something that didn't matter, what would he do when faced with an issue where it did matter? This executive's actions were both unethical and stupid. Routine use of basic brain cells would have avoided the problem.
Use your nose A supplier, who has been doing business with your firm for ten years, begins offering you gifts of increasing value. An employee, who you have given a lot of well-deserved time off so he could help his sick wife, hands you tickets to a football game, just to say "thanks." Your boss casually mentions that if his wife should ask, you should tell her that you and he had worked late at the office last Thursday night.
Some situations carry an aroma. No matter how well rationalized, some options must be rejected because they flunk the smell test.
Use your heart My first act upon appointment as Benevolent Dictator will be to require all my subjects to watch an episode of The Andy Griffith Show each day. Here is one scene they will witness.