Do the Right Thing

Return to main page

"Do the Right Thing"

With business moving at a rapid pace, ethical dilemmas will arise at a faster rate — ranging from the able-bodied trying to get a handicapped sticker for easy parking to insider trading.

At a recent ethics seminar for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Marsha Egan, a certified insurance professional, observed that there's been a general relaxing in moral standards. To stop the erosion of ethics, Egan advises the following:

  • Define ethical behavior — values such as honesty, loyalty, fairness, respect for others and personal accountability.
  • Recognize the benefits — enhanced reputation, enhanced leadership ability and increased morale.
  • Create a code of ethics and insist that all employees adhere to the code.
  • Make ethical values an integral part of the corporate culture.

Egan notes that companies usually handle ethics in one of three ways:

  1. Neglect: Companies do not communicate expectations to their employees.
  2. Compliance: Companies post a set of rules.
  3. Values: Companies focus on ethical values.

"When we embrace the values of loyalty, fairness, honesty and accountability, it follows that our actions will be ethical. When we face a challenging situation, we have an inner compass that points us toward ethical behavior," says Egan.

"Whether you are a company president or the head of a household, you are CEO of something. Be a leader — set an example," Egan urges. "The price of being ethical is high, but the price of being unethical is much higher."

Source: CPCU Society, Jane Greiner, (800) 932-2728, ext. 2738;

Writer: Tom Truman

Related Articles

No Chicken When It Comes to Innovation

Can Founder Really Have It All After the Sale?

Productivity Boosters

Time Bandits

Knowledge Management

Building and Inspiring an Organization

Articles in our Entrepreneur’s Resource Center appeared in print and online newsletters published previously by the foundation. More than 1,000 articles can be found in the categories below, addressing timeless challenges faced by entrepreneurs of all types.