Are Ethics Obsolete?

LeadershipIt’s hard for team leaders to be ethical because there are too many pressures to survive and to win at any cost. Various writers have coined the term “reptilian economy” where self-preservation prevails and everything is negotiable.

There is a common belief that ethical behavior is not always encouraged, re-enforced or rewarded in the workplace although organizations pay lip service to the concept. There are some organization that still adhere to time-tested societal values and expect supervisors and other employees to do the same.

There are still some commonly held values. Many organizations are showing a renewed interest in basic values and have published policies outlining the “ethical” values of the organization.

Effective leaders don’t conduct business in a vacuum. This matters because ethical leaders believe they make good business sense. Ethics still count with customers because they want to deal with organizations they can trust. Of course, all of this is worthless if your team leaders are not trained and supported in a number of ethical behaviors. Ethical team leaders send a powerful message about what’s important, how people are to be treated and how the organization does business.

You can easily identify those team leaders who adhere to high ethics and who practice value-based decision-making. Team leaders who act in these ways have the characteristics that everyone wants to work for or to have work for them.

Researchers have identified a list of thirty (30) ethical behaviors, but I am listing the top ten (10) that resonated with me. You can read the complete list here.

My top (10)

1. Tell the truth
2. Keep promises
3. Accept blame
4. Obey rules and laws
5. Exercise self-discipline
6. Respect confidentiality
7. Avoid half-truths
8. Reward merit
9. Remain impartial
10. Avoid stereotypes

Related Articles:   Insight + Rapport   and  15 Attributes of a Great Workplace

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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