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Ethics in Business – Key to success

In the modern world, we often hear the term ethics in business. Some or the other time, all of us have asked the question what actually constitutes business ethics and what is the cost of practicing these ethics in real life? Is it a wise choice to establish an ethical business or is it better to cut corners for a quick buck?

Out of my personal experience, I can say that there is no shortcut to success. Success over the longer term can only be built on the foundation stone of strong values and ethical behaviour which one has to demonstrate in every aspect of work and personal life. Some of the key principles that one must imbibe in his life are given below:


HONESTY

Ethical executives are honest and truthful in all their dealings and they do not deliberately mislead or deceive others by misrepresentations, overstatements, partial truths, selective omissions, or any other means. As the famous proverb goes, ‘Honesty is the best policy’. You will never lose a client or a business which has been acquired by honest and clear commitments. You are bound to commit mistakes and there will always be an element of the unexpected. The word of an honest man will always prevail over the situation, no matter howsoever unexplainable.


INTEGRITY

Ethical executives demonstrate personal integrity and the courage of their convictions by doing what they think is right even when there is great pressure to do otherwise; they are principled, honourable and upright; they will fight for their beliefs. They will not sacrifice principle for expediency, be hypocritical, or unscrupulous.


Honour your commitments

Ethical executives are worthy of trust. They are candid and forthcoming in supplying relevant information and correcting misapprehensions of fact, and they make every reasonable effort to fulfil the letter and spirit of their promises and commitments. They do not interpret agreements in an unreasonably technical or legalistic manner in order to rationalize non-compliance or create justifications for escaping their commitments.



LOYALTY.

Ethical executives are worthy of trust, demonstrate fidelity and loyalty to persons and institutions by friendship in adversity, support and devotion to duty; they do not use or disclose information learned in confidence for personal advantage. They safeguard the ability to make independent professional judgments by scrupulously avoiding undue influences and conflicts of interest. They are loyal to their companies and colleagues and if they decide to accept other employment, they provide reasonable notice, respect the proprietary information of their former employer, and refuse to engage in any activities that take undue advantage of their previous positions.


JUSTICE

Ethical executives and fair and just in all dealings; they do not exercise power arbitrarily, and do not use overreaching nor indecent means to gain or maintain any advantage nor take undue advantage of another’s mistakes or difficulties. Fair persons manifest a commitment to justice, the equal treatment of individuals, tolerance for and acceptance of diversity, the they are open-minded; they are willing to admit they are wrong and, where appropriate, change their positions and beliefs.



OTHERS FIRST.

Ethical executives are caring, compassionate, benevolent and kind; they like the Golden Rule, help those in need, and seek to accomplish their business objectives in a manner that causes the least harm and the greatest positive good.


RESPECT.

Ethical executives demonstrate respect for the human dignity, autonomy, privacy, rights, and interests of all those who have a stake in their decisions; they are courteous and treat all people with equal respect and dignity regardless of sex, race or national origin.


COMPLIANCE OF LAWS.

Ethical executives abide by laws, rules and regulations relating to their business activities. Being compliant gives you the confidence and freedom of thought to be open to scrutiny and review. You don’t have to spend time and energy to conceal what has been done and you can focus on what is ahead of you.



SELF IMPROVEMENT.

Ethical executives pursue excellence in performing their duties, are well informed and prepared, and constantly endeavour to increase their proficiency in all areas of responsibility. One must always train their subordinates and team members to evolve and take higher roles.


LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

Ethical executives are conscious of the responsibilities and opportunities of their position of leadership and seek to be positive ethical role models by their own conduct and by helping to create an environment in which principled reasoning and ethical decision making are highly prized.


ACCOUNTABILITY.

Ethical executives acknowledge and accept personal accountability for the ethical quality of their decisions and omissions to themselves, their colleagues, their companies, and their communities.


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