In work, in business and in their personal lives, most people strive to do the right thing.
But sometimes, obstacles stand in the way and we make mistakes, says Bruce Weinstein, author and speaker who dubs himself The Ethics Guy.
Fear, short-term benefits and being in a foul mood can make it difficult to do the right thing, he says.
“It only takes one dishonest person to ruin a company, and companies cannot afford that,” Weinstein says.
The Ethics Guy spoke to an audience of about 260 people at Liberty Hall in Kimberly Oct. 3 at the third annual Ethics in Business Summit, hosted by the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley Inc.
Weinstein is CEO of the Institute for High-Character Leadership and author of several books, including, “Is it Still Cheating if I Don’t Get Caught” and “Ethical Intelligence — Five Principles for Untangling Your Toughest Problems at Work and Beyond.”
He talked about the five ethical principles that guide the actions of everyone affiliated with The Ethics Guy LLC. Drawn from “the Principles of Biomedical Ethics” by Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress, they are:
- Do no harm
- Make things better
- Respect others
- Be fair
“It’s so important for businesses to hire and promote high character people at every level of the organization – and to let everybody else go,” Weinstein says. “It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable or skilled you are, if you don’t have integrity, if you’re not honest, if you’re not accountable, if you don’t keep your word or if you are not courageous and willing stand up to a corrupt vendor, for example, you’re going to hurt the company.”
In addition to his books, Weinstein writes about ethics, character and leadership for Fortune and Forbes. He is a Trust Across America Top 2017 Top Thought Leader in Trust and counts among his many national clients All State Insurance, The Home Depot, National Football League and the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
Matthew Prickette, director of business development at ERC: Counselors & Consultants, Green Bay, says he found the Ethics in Business Summit eye-opening.
“It certainly brought out awareness and the different perspectives that individuals can have in their roles, and how in context it can play out. “I learned that there is more than one way to answer a question in a tough situation, but being fair and honest and making sure that you’re forthright with your intention is the important things to remember.” ERC will be among the recipients of the Ethics in Business Awards at the 10th annual Ethics in Business Luncheon Nov. 9 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.
Samaritan Counseling Center board member and retired accounting professional Gary Cebulski says ethical behavior needs to remain an important component of business success.
“It’s a conversation that needs to continue,” Cebulski says, “especially today, when you open a magazine or newspaper and you read about the latest scandal or bad deal that somebody perpetrated. We need to continue to tee this issue up in the community.”
(Look for more about Weinstein at www.theethicsguy.com.)