“Everybody does it.”
“It’s okay to break some rules as long as we aren’t hurting anybody.”
“It isn’t ethical? Do we have a rule book here stating that?”
“I did it because he was doing it.”
“Two wrongs make a right.”
“It is the only shortcut!”
“I usually do everything ethically, so if I break a rule once in a while it won’t make much of a difference.”
“I didn’t do it, he forced/manipulated me into doing this.”
“I wanted it so badly. Life has always been unfair to me anyway.”
We have this habit of concealing or hiding the truth. We make excuses, dig up theories, to rationalize our actions. We convince ourselves that the world is already a bad place and our actions won’t make a difference or no one will really notice because everybody has their own sins. Our ethical responsibilities aren’t based on other’s actions; an action cannot become ethical simply because everyone is doing it too.
How do you define ethics exactly? ‘Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity” Ethics is a very broad concept. Ethics is much beyond the legal system or the rule book, it is self-motivated. The moral right and wrong depend upon the individual, a genuine internal desire to do the right. The state can impose as many laws as it wants, but following those rules ultimately depends on us.
We are often tempted to break some rules, and take the easy path to success or misuse our position to get away with a crime. If you’ve done wrong, and you’ve been excused for it only because you are important or accomplished, what you’ve done would still instill a sense of distrust among the people who’ve truly believed in you until now. If drunk-driving is wrong, so is eating a pizza when you are on a diet, maybe not in the same sense. Identify solutions to the obstacles in your life. Eliminate the rationalizations that stop you from getting work done.
The concept is simple, yet powerful- stay true. You can’t spend your time questioning your own actions. There is always an urge to take the short road, to act dishonest, to cheat, but resisting this temptation takes courage. You need to listen to your conscious, the voice that tells you to act according to the principles you have set for own self. All this in turn impacts our success in life and at work. Integrity develops trust among people. When we are ready to hold ourselves accountable for our actions, we become dependable. Companies want employees who are trustworthy, people who stick to their words and meet deadlines. People who live and work with integrity are more likely to be considered for promotions. You build a decent reputation to sustain yourself in the corporate world.
Business is life at all levels, and the HOW is always more important than the WHAT.