Chapter 11. Ethics Counts

"A code of ethics is one way of making sure everyone bases important decisions on the same standards."

A compass is a navigational instrument that provides a known reference point—one that is of great assistance in providing direction. In essence, a compass helps us to find True North. Similarly, a code of ethics is a moral compass that serves as a fixed reference point for behavior. The "true north" of our moral compass of ethics points us to what is right, true, just, or morally appropriate.

Ethics can be defined as the body of principles or standards of human conduct that govern the behavior or actions of individuals and groups. When our moral compass is distorted—or completely absent—then our standards and actions are based on self-interest and personal gain.

Most of us have a moral compass; however, not everyone's points to True North. If your moral compass is spinning, this means you are having trouble getting a fix on what is right or ethical. Knowing the right thing to do is ethics challenge number one; a secondary challenge is actually doing it.

The pressure to succeed often tempts us to behave immorally or unethically. In a world of increasing expectations, rapid communication, global economics, geopolitics, and robust technology, our successes and failures are both magnified and leveraged. We live in a world where the unethical actions of a single CEO can leave hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people in a state of complete economic devastation. ...

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