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Ethics: Who Needs Them?

Posted by Barton Cutter on Feb 15, 2017 7:00:56 AM

The so-called war on ethics continues to rage in Washington, D.C., with the president-elect’s business interests at the centre. While the expression “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” immediately comes to mind, perhaps we should be grateful that politicians themselves are, for once, openly discussing the role of ethics in government.

For us, however, it also represents an opportunity to consider how we, as leaders, consider our own ethics.

Many of us who embrace the responsibility for creating our world understand the implicit value of a strong “leader within,” which represents the combined power of our values, sense of purpose and inner resources.

This internal compass is where we draw our sense of acceptance and authority. It can also act as a guidance system in navigating the complexities of the world around us. by which the boundaries of right conduct are defined in our professional field.

When our leader within and code of ethics are out of alignment, however, the dissonance becomes tangible. It’s then that we need to assess what is going on to undermine the resonance.

One way to do this is to examine the balance between our sense of acceptance and authority.

  1. Ask yourself, “Have I abandoned my own authority and instead am I wallowing in a story of ‘that’s just how things are’?”
  2. Tune into the world around you as a source of information about your moment-to-moment impact.
  3. Use that information to examine where the values, sense of purpose and inner resources that make up your inner leader have slipped out of alignment, and ask yourself whether they an authentic expression of who you are and who you are becoming.

Only then will you know if you have let your commitment to your code of ethics slip or, equally, have failed to stand up to a weak code.

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