“… fundamental honesty is the keystone of business”

Harvey S. Firestone

Not all of our most notable public leaders are models of good ethics. “Integrity” and “honest person” self-labels are often misstated.  Business corruption goes unpunished, so bending rules becomes normalized.  Doing “right” competes with quarterly results, the next sale, receiving a promotion, and more.  

I experienced the good fortune of mentors who lived “integrity”. These business leaders practiced treating colleagues, customers, and partners with respect and honesty. Integrity was as vital an attribute as being highly competitive to win. Nevertheless, I experienced situations where moral choices presented themselves on the wrong side of legality and good ethics.

Integrity won’t just happen, especially given intense individual and market competition for results. I’m reminded by the executive of a large organization who said whenever he would speak to a group of 10 or more employees, he’d remind everyone of the importance practicing good ethics.

Sharing these practical ideas that support good ethics business practices … assuming this is important to your organization.

  • Are ethics best practices ever a topic item for agendas at Board meetings?  Governance is where to share top-down commitment and example.
  • When making promotion or hiring decisions, is integrity a line-item consideration?
  • In performance appraisals, are managers graded on good ethics leadership?
  • Sales, marketing, and customer service are terrific places to inspect and call attention to good ethics practices.  Practicing what is right wins customer loyalty.
  • Are examples of good ethics formally rewarded?

Suggest that your organization considers an Integrity Best Practices Audit.  The process alone encourages organization attention to its importance.  Report results to the Board of Directors.

the magis team

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