Throughout this week I am writing and podcasting a series on ethics because it is time. All around us we see unethical behavior through many different venues. Media, politics, international issues, it is pounding on us through so many sources every day. Even though we see this unethical behavior it does not give us a license to act and behave unethically. It is our responsibility to be ethical.
Throughout my business life I have had people act unethical and have had to deal with unethical behavior. In our lives we have good periods of time that we live happily and then there are times when an ethical crisis blows everything out of the water. When someone creates a crisis, nothing to do with your professional work, the crises hurt everyone surrounding that individual. If you have never lived through a crisis you will get your turn. Be prepared for an ethical crisis, everyone must live through at least one. When a crisis involves unethical behavior, that unethical act gets associated with you, even though you did nothing wrong. People will point fingers, make assumptions, get angry and blame you, and the list goes on. But, if you are ethically sound, you will make it through anything. Ethics is a practice and not just a belief. You must work at it every single day of your life in all that you do.
We do not get a license to be unethical just because we see unethical people and governments being unethical. We must be ethically always thinking. The thought process is involved in every decision process we undertake, and it is a hard job to do. The temptations become too great that we yield and switch on unethical behavior. We make the wrong choices to often.
I love the quote from Henry Cabot Lodge, "It is never right to compromise with dishonesty". He is right on the money. Never compromise your ethics with unethical behavior, or those with unethical behavior. You keep yourself accountable for your own ethically thinking process and you challenge those that push an unethical agenda to benefit themselves.
Ethically Thinking, It's Not That Hard