study identified meaningful, reliable
relationships as the single strongest
predictor of human happiness. It’s
impossible to get those through
unethical behavior, no matter what
edge you think it gives your career.
BRAD – Part of being ethical is
realizing that it will not always be to
your personal benefit. Because ethics is
about how we treat others, most of our
greatest ethical heroes are those who
have sacrificed for others. Meanwhile,
my experience is that those who are
dedicated to living ethically in their
professions are universally happy and
oftentimes highly successful.
BILL - There is also the undeniable
cost of wrongdoing. Unethical
behavior will have a cost to you and
your business. In the long run, those
who make the wrong choices end
up paying for them in terms of fines,
imprisonment, loss of sales and profits
and damage to their reputation.
6. Do you find that most people
want to do the right thing?
BILL - Beyond avoiding costs of
wrongdoing, there is a desire by most
people to act properly and to be
ethical. In fact, most people who have
made poor ethical choices wish they
could have the opportunity to do it
again and choose differently. It’s hard
to put a value on personal harmony
but it is clear that losing your personal
integrity matters significantly.
AARON – I believe most people want
to do the right thing. I also believe
most of us have gaps in our skills and
abilities that help us accomplish the
right thing. Good ethics is more than
just having good intentions. That’s
ETHICAL DILEMMAS 13 Upcoming articles in this series will take
a closer look at each dilemma.
STANDING UP TO POWER
Someone in power is asking you to do something
MADE A PROMISE
Conflicting commitments force you to choose.
You see something wrong. How do you proceed?
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Multiple roles put you at cross purposes.
SUSPICIONS WITHOUT ENOUGH EVIDENCE
You believe something is going on, but you’re not sure.
Achieving justice but by doing something unethical.
SKIRTING THE RULES
Bending a rule for a better outcome.
Misrepresenting the truth for better outcome.
Giving up ethical stance to protect valued relationship.
SACRIFICING PERSONAL VALUES
Living ethically might put burden on others.
When opportunity exists to wield an unfair upper hand.
When you are responsible for a mistake.
You could grant forgiveness, but you don’t know
if you should.