the ceo magazine, business management,
Santiago Rivera, Author, Doing Business God’s Way

Have you ever been in a position of leadership when an ethical question arose?

Kris, a friend of mine, found himself amidst a white-collar crime in one of the top healthcare systems in the world two years ago. After joining their team, he discovered the corporation was hiring new executives to overpass fraudulently financial operations or unused services.

After collecting significant evidence, he reported the situation to the president of the organization. In turn, Kris was assigned to a special commission to identify and report all of the discrepancies.

Not long after, Kris learned that the president he had reported the fraudulent activities to was the culprit behind the entire scheme. He was using the information passed to him from Kris to detect the errors that needed to be resolved.

Two weeks later, my friend finally left the company with both serious personal and professional consequences.

Your coworkers and peers do not want to hear about that time you made a moral choice. They wait for the news or gossip about the unethical decisions, the ones that cause harm and suffering.

The consequences of doing business without ethics far outweigh the cost of doing things ethically.

As a business owner or senior executive, you do not have to work in a social enterprise to take ethics and moral issues seriously. In fact, it is the joining of your organization’s culture, your personal values, and professional success that defines the ethics of your organization.

It is one thing to have ethics at the top, among the leaders of your company, but it is another thing to ensure that the message filters down to the shop or trading floor.

Let’s take a look at the ABCs of doing business ethically:

  • A (Open the Airways): You must maintain trustworthiness. This means that you, your employees, and all suppliers should have an open and transparent avenue of communication. This will allow you to create confidence in your company and its abilities.
  • B (Breathing): Honesty should be in the air, especially when it comes to the delivery of products and services. Be truthful in admitting and correcting any mistakes, keeping honesty at the forefront of all communication, customer and otherwise.
  • C (Circulation): Let your team participate in addressing all of the ethical issues within your business. Each member has a unique point of view to contribute to the discussion. Moreover, once the team has consented on a course of action, it must be disseminated to the rest of the business.

These ABC elements are a great tool to begin the development of your company’s ethics and morality policies. By understanding and practicing them, you align yourself and your business with success, keeping you out of situations like my friend Kris found himself.

In closing, I ask you again – have you been in a position of leadership when an ethical decision arose? Did you have to put these ABCs of Business Ethics into practice, either when working for another company of when running your own business?

Be open and a little vulnerable with yourself or your team. The results will astound you.

About the Author

Santiago Rivera is an innovative leader who helps professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit push beyond their limits through his mentoring program and workshops. After spending 20 years as an executive administrator in the healthcare industry, he now works with entrepreneurs to rebrand their companies for additional profit and success.

Rivera released his first book, Doing Business God’s Way: Invite God to Partner with You to Create Business Success, in September.


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