Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Solid Foundation

Recently I joined a group of men on what simply can be called a journey, beginning with a solid foundation. The foundation is trust. Every person involved is part of the group because of trust and trustworthiness. Each agrees that with trust as the foundation, the longevity of the group is inevitable. This is a "good" group of men setting out on a journey to be "great". I am honored to be part of such a group and know it requires a sense of responsibility to continue working on myself as a trusted person to every other member.

One tool I use to carry this out is reading. Recently I have been reading a book called There`s No Such Thing As "BUSINESS" ETHICS written by John C. Maxwell. In the early stages of this book are some very profound conclusions on ethics that are seemingly easily avoided or ignored by leaders in business today.

In short, Ethics, Character, Integrity, Core Values are avoided or completely ignored by leaders in business based on a situation or situations. The impact of this behavior is a primary reason for some very good companies going into a economic downward spiral, never to recover and ultimately having a negative impact on the life and economies of anyone involved.

John Maxwell writes: I know it really is possible to do what`s right and succeed in business. In fact, according to the Ethics Resource Center in Washington, D.C., companies that are dedicated to doing the right thing, who have a written commitment to social responsibility, and act on it consistently are more profitable than those who don`t.

Again, I remind you that I am in the early stages of this book and I am confident that there will be more to write on later from this great read. For now let`s examine what John Wrote in this paragraph and examine our own life's actions.

  • Do What Is Right: In our Business, our everyday life, our jobs, are we dedicated to doing the right thing? do we do the right thing? Always?
  • Are we committed to a social responsibility? Do we hold our self accountable to those around us?
  • Do we consistently act on this commitment? Do our actions match with who we say we are? Always?

John also writes: It`s easy to discuss ethics and even easier to be disgusted with people who fail the ethics test---- especially when we have been violated by the wrong doing of others. It`s harder to make ethical choices in our own lives. When we are faced with unpleasant choices, what are we going to do?

In the 1980`s former President Ronald Reagan quipped that when it comes to the economy, it`s a recession when your neighbor loses his job, but it`s a depression when you lose yours!

Ethics is similar. It`s always harder when I`m the one having to make the choice.

I agree with John Maxwell that it really is possible to do what`s right and succeed in business. In fact, it`s possible to do what`s right and succeed at anything!

John Say`s If you embrace ethical behavior, will it automatically make you rich and successful? Of course not. Can it pave the way for you to become successful? Absolutely!

Ethics + Competence is a winning equation.

When you think of the subject of ethics, what is your gut reaction? Is it positive or negative?
Is it something you would look forward to thinking about, discussing, and applying to your life?
Deep down do you believe that a person can be ethical and still win?

On With The Journey,


Anonymous said...

I think we will never win long term if we are unethical. The truth of who we are will always find us out.
We will never be perfect but when we are humble and are willing to apologize when we screw up, it makes all the difference in the world.
When others see you make choices to do the right thing and follow people that want to do the right thing,even when it hurts deeply, eventually they follow.
They see strength in your character.
If someone is willing to lose everything they sacrificed for, money, friends, status, respect, financial security. If they are willing to suffer when others suffer, starve when others starve, like Lincoln, and go to battle for the underdog, that my friend is someone i will follow!
I believe God will honor that and those successes will come again.
People can tell where your heart is.
If life is all about business and not about ehtics than it really has no meaning.
I want to look back on my life and think man that was a hard period of time, but i am so glad i made the choice to honor my God and do the hard thing not the easy thing. When the lights came on, i was proud that i stood for the right thing in my journey more and more, and my hands were clean.
I know perfection is immpossible but if we just ask the question "Is this the right thing for me and everyone involved?" and "Will I be proud of this decision in front of God?" We would be a better off nation, family, friend, coworker.
I dont tend to think always of these things but I'm starting to see how my decisions can affect a lot of people. And i am so glad to have an absolute truth to look to for my answers to those questions.
Im gonna pull that book off my shelf and check it out!

Anonymous said...

I have made a lot of bad decisions in my life for financial gain, desperation etc. that as i look back on it i had a little nagging feeling that was yucky and i didn't slow down long enough to listen to it. Those things were not illegal or newsworthy but they were definately not the right thing for all involved. If I had listened to my conscience I would have made a good decision instead of a bad one.
If we cheat on the small things in life what will we do in the big things?
I am so glad that God gave me a consience that i am learning more and more to trust and follow.
I mess up everyday sometimes with out even knowing it.
I ask of my coworkers, friends, husband, and kids to come to me and let me know when i have done the wrong thing, in a kind way, so i can apologize and ask for their forgiveness.. It is harder said than done! Sometimes the truth is very painful to hear.If a person means something to us, and we care for them, we can hear it.
Then we will have stronger, deeper relationships.
This will be a lifelong struggle for all of us because we are sinful by nature. My goal is to be more Christ like everyday. Thank God for grace and forgiveness.
Not being ethical just ends in destruction eventually. Because even if noone else knows, you know.

Anonymous said...


This is one of my favorite John maxwell books. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that promote doing the right and ethical thing, but time will always point out their true integrity. I am glad to call you my friend who I KNOW IS A PERSON OF INTEGRITY.

Keep up the great work!!

Jeff Granger

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I do believe you can succeed in business by doing the right thing. What an awesome feeling it is when you put your head on your pillow at night and know that your character is in line, in work and life. I believe that by doing the right thing that the reward is greater. Ultimately there are only two that know, you and God. So make the right choices.