4 Books to Read to Help Future Generations Understand The Importance of Ethics

  • Ethics 101 by John C. Maxwell

The one “standard” Maxwell recommends using in all situations is the Golden Rule: the precept that one should behave toward others as one would want others to behave toward oneself.

  • Principle Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey

The key to dealing with the challenges that face us today is the recognition of a principle-centered core within both ourselves and our organizations. Dr. Covey offers insights and guidelines that can help you apply these principles both at work and at home — leading not just to a new understanding of how to increase quality and productivity, but also to a new appreciation of the importance of building personal and professional relationships in order to enjoy a more balanced, more rewarding, more effective life.

  • Ethics {for the real world}: creating a personal code to guide decisions in work and life by Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver

Minor ethical lapses can seem harmless, but they instill in us a hard-to-break habit of distorted thinking. Rationalizations drown out our inner voice, and we make up the rules as we go. We lose control of our decisions, fall victim to the temptations and pressures of our situations, taint our characters, and sour business and personal relationships.

  • The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse: How to Spot Moral Meltdowns in Companies…Before It’s Too Late by Marianne M. Jennings, J.D.

Don’t watch the next accounting disaster take your hard-earned savings, or accept the perfect job only to find out your boss is cooking the books. If you’re just interested in understanding the (not-so) ethical underpinnings of business today, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse is both a must-have tool and a fascinating window into today’s business world.

“The novel is a penetrating study of morals and ethics.”- Bille August

Plan Ahead!

“As with any concept or idea, it is paramount to plan ahead, in order to have success in any venture.” The Ethical Coach Leader

During our lifetime we make choices that shape the type of person we grow up to be, essentially we are planning ahead for our individual futures. We can do more than plan ahead for our own futures, we can plan ahead for the futures of generations to come.

As parents, coaches, teachers, and any other position that affects our youth, we are responsible for setting an example. We are responsible for helping them plan ahead for their future selves. If we plan ahead and decide on which ethical code we are going to live and lead by, we can pass that down to future generations so that they might too become ethical leaders in their ventures.

In the 2008 Junior Achievement/Deloitte Teen Ethics Survey, 79 percent of teens surveyed said they felt prepared to make ethical decisions when they enter the workforce. However, 38 percent said it is sometimes necessary to cheat, steal, lie or behave violently to succeed. In order to lower that 38%, we need to decide who we are going to be so that those that look up to us and follow our example are headed down the right ethical path themselves.

“The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do.”- Roy L Smith

What Ethical Types Do You Employ?

We All Have An Inner Compass That Guides Us In Making The Right Or Wrong Choices.

Whether or not we choose to follow it is another matter. In the work world you have employees where making ethical choices comes naturally and some who need some work in that department.

There are four different ethical types of people that are typically found in the workplace. These types include The Conformist, The Negotiator, The Navigator, and The Wiggler. It is up to you which one you will be or which ones you will employ.

  • The conformist is an employee who follows rules rather than questions authority figures.
  • The negotiator is someone who tries to make up rules as he goes.
  • The navigator is someone who, when confronted with a situation in which people are behaving unethically, is able rely on an innate ethical sense to guide his/her actions, even if these decisions aren’t easy.
  • The wiggler doesn’t give a lot of thought to what is right.

Ideally we would all be navigators, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. We must learn find our way through difficult choices and find a happy medium between the 4 different ethical types.

“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing”. -Henry Kravis

The Ghost of Right or Wrong

Steve Maraboli said “Do what you think is right. Don’t let people make the decision of right or wrong for you.”

When we are put under pressure it is sometimes hard to decide between the decision that is right and then one that will please. Every one of us is brought up with an understanding of what is right and wrong.

In my book, ‘The Ethical Coach Leader’, the coach of a boys volleyball team is faced with a hard decision. His star player tested positive for steroids, but an important game is on the horizon. He must decide whether or not to say something and have him suspended from the team or keep quiet until after the big game.

The right decision is to report the student. This is the ethical decision because it sets the example that improving your performance using steroids is unacceptable. Although the right decision, it is a hard one because of the pressures from the school community to win. These are the types of decisions that many of face in all aspects of life. We must learn to rely on our Experience, our Education, our Examples, and our Environment when deciding what is the right and what is the wrong side of a decision.

“Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and when people start getting it confused, that means they need to sit down with some real people.” -Chuck D

 

The Ghost of E-Information

“All we need to do is search the web and the answer will become clear. We can then get back to doing the things that are needed in this world.”

Unfortunately this statement is what many individuals think today. We live in a highly digital world where you can find almost any information you want on the internet. This a great resource for many things, however it is not a solve all. We cannot simply Google away our problems.

Dr. George Lundberg said “Information on the internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar”. The reality of the internet is anyone can freely put information out there whether it is fact or not. If you fell sick, you wouldn’t trust the internet with a diagnosis, you would go see your doctor. The same logic applies to other problems that may arise. We need to rely on our personal database that we have built through our experiences.

We have counsel all around us, and as we network with others that pool of counselors grows. It is important that we utilize our network of people and refer back to past experiences to solve our problems. That is the only way we can grow and learn as individuals.

Morals Matter

“There Are Some Things That Money Can’t Buy…Like Manners, Morals And Integrity.” – Unknown

It doesn’t matter how much money you have if you have no moral compass to guide your decisions. They say lead by example and that notion rings true. If your peers see you as a great ethical and moral leader, they will be inclined to follow your lead.

There are many ways to live a moral life. Some of those are listed here:

  • Respect others no matter who they are and expect the same from them.
  • Be helpful to others and ask for help when you need it.
  • Honor promises and obligations, and apologize when you can’t do so.
  • Stick with honesty and expect the same from others.
  • Acknowledge, validate or say thanks – whether in person or online.
  • Assume the best of others and understand they’re trying.
  • Remove yourself when someone’s best isn’t serving your best interests.

Building a strong moral compass gives people, a sense of integrity, which is a tool for obtaining a sense of self-worth and self-confidence – confidence that is not dependent upon the outside world, but an internal feeling.

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” – Laurence Sterne

Emphasizing Ethics

It Is Important That We Teach
Ethics To The Younger Generations!

The following is a list of books that can help us do just that:

Ethics 101 by John C. Maxwell

The one “standard” Maxwell recommends using in all situations is the Golden Rule: the precept that one should behave toward others as one would want others to behave toward oneself.

Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey

The key to dealing with the challenges that we face today, is the recognition of a principle-centered core within ourselves, as well as our organizations. Dr. Covey offers insights and guidelines that can help you apply these principles both at work and at home – leading to not only a new understanding of how to increase quality and productivity, but also to a new appreciation of the importance of building personal and professional relationships in order to enjoy a more balanced, rewarding, effective life.

Ethics {for the Real World}: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions In Work and Life by Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver

Minor ethical lapses can seem harmless, but they instill in us a hard-to-break habit of distorted thinking. Rationalizations drown out our inner voice, and we make up the rules as we go. We lose control of our decisions, fall victim to the temptations and pressures of our situations, taint our characters, and sour relationships.

The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse: How to Spot Moral Meltdowns In Companies…Before It’s Too Late by Marianne M. Jennings, J.D.

Don’t watch the next accounting disaster take your hard-earned savings, or accept the perfect job only to find out your boss is cooking the books. If you want to develop an understanding of the (not-so) ethical underpinnings of business today, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse is both a must-have tool and a fascinating window into today’s business world.

Ethics Are Essential

“A leadership strategy without ethical clarity produces moral and economic bankruptcy.” – Bill Donahue

The ethical standing of a company starts from the top. If its leadership is not abiding by ethical principles, then the company will fall into unethical practices. The concept of ethical leadership is to unveil, determine, and demonstrate how to understand this leadership and why it is necessary to have an ethical coach leader at the top of the organization. When a company is ethically aligned, decisions are easier to make. And when the people who make those decisions feel that they are contributing to a good cause, they put more energy into the effort.

Simply put, it is much easier to be motivated by an ethical leader and work for a good cause, than it is to be motivated and energized in an unethical environment. By being a good leader you set the tone for everyone following you to be ethical and together build an ethical foundation to grow upon.

“Ethics must begin at the top of every organization. It is a leadership issue and CEO must set the example.” – Edward Hennessy

The Ghost of Introspection

What Is Introspection?

In my book, The Ethical Coach Leader, I note that introspection is key to understanding our internal dialogue and what motivates us to succeed.When you look inside yourself, you learn to tune out the noise of the outside world and ultimately become a much more solid and grounded individual.

Too many people today are blown about by the winds of change. They have no roots to anchor them to one spot. Often, this is due to lack of introspection. How many times do you think about thinking? How do you reflect on your own thoughts? Do you ever take the time to listen to your own internal dialogue and decide if it is positive or negative?

If not, you may be afraid of the Ghost of Introspection. As I say in my book, it is very important that you do what all humans do from time to time; look at yourself critically and see if your lifestyle is what you want it to be. Introspection is tough because it requires us to examine our own motivations and issues, and this can be painful. However, the results can help us grow stronger, become a more ethical leader, and ultimately benefit from our own honest and truthfulness.

Sri Swami Sivananda said, “Introspect. Watch the mind. It will gradually grow calmer and calmer. You will be able to find your defects.” By looking inside ourselves and reflecting on our past decisions, we can then be better educated in making future decisions. If you are unsure about something, take a few moments for quiet reflection. You will be amazed at how introspection can guide you when you give it a chance!

There may be occasions when you do not have the time for a deep introspection. This is when the habit of introspection becomes important. I have found that the more time you spend meditating and thinking about your internal dialogue, the more in touch with it you are. Then, once you have gotten in touch with yourself and you are comfortable with introspection, you can call those internal resources up much more quickly when necessary. Introspection not only makes you a better person, it makes you a better thinker, as well.

The Ghost of Environment

While I was Writing The Ethical Coach Leader,
I Recounted An Experience I Had
With My Own Coaching.

I told a group of listeners at one point, “I am here to remind you about the social and cultural forces that have shaped your life.” This is because I believe that these factors play a vital role in determining who and what we become. W. Clement Stone may have said it best when he said, “Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.”

The fact is that the environment we surround ourselves with shapes the people we become. It is important that we are conscious of the choices we make regarding our environment so as not to wander down the wrong path. The right people in our lives can help us achieve success; the wrong ones can ensure our failure.

This is an especially important lesson for young people to learn. Andy Stanley, a noted youth pastor, said, “The people who can ruin your life today will not be in your life five years from now.” To a great extent, this is true. While we may all have one friend that we have kept since high school or even grade school, the fact is that most of us move on. We find new friends, have new experiences and move away from the people who were once important to us. Only family truly stands the test of time; friends are usually situational, and although we may retain affection for certain friends, those who are in our lives every day are the ones that influence our thoughts and actions.

Therefore, it is very important for us to maintain the right environment by carefully controlling who is around us and imparting that lesson to our students. A coach maintains a good environment by engaging players who are positive, hardworking and goal-oriented. This environment will encourage other players, even when they are down on their luck, to push through to success. By creating the right environment, you as a coach are setting your players up for success. If you create the wrong environment, you are setting them up for failure.