I am sure there has been much written about ethics in leadership but I wanted to share some insights recently revealed to me.
I had a visit with some dear friends who have been in leadership positions and one is currently writing a book on “ethics in the university”. He is a retired professor and is a dear friend so, jokingly, I asked him if he had discovered any, to which there was a resounding NO.
The chats usually go with the state of our country then circles around to business models and ethics.
First, I’m not sure why we call it “business ethics”.
Is the place we learn business ethics, in business, or is it too late then? Our conversation had me asking that question, “Where do we learn” ethics?
Well, I got the standard business answer we all should expect and the one you are thinking. We teach them in college and have training classes and seminars. Which isn’t bad, I might add!
As you may guess at this point in the conversation, I still had plenty of questions. So, one immediate question was; at what age do we start to teach ethics?
Where and when do “we” learn ethics?
Where did we learn our values?
Was it in grade school, high school, or in college?
Is it possible to raise our young without ethics and still expect them to be “ethical” in business? If there are no losers when they are young, is the same ethic true for the business life?
In today’s culture of “question authority”, “truth” is what the individual “believes” it to be. It is certainly apparent that we have failed our young somewhere.
Our local police department is dealing with candidate recruits who lack value in ethics as I’m sure many departments across the country are. It appears many Nex-gen applicants when interviewed believe it is fine to “lie”. No ethics, no integrity in the police department!! I wonder where this could lead!
So the Nex-gen folks may think this is a far stretch but follow me along if you will.
There is a “warning” found in the number one best selling book of all time, called The Bible, and it is filled with plenty of solid advise. I think some could be applied properly, here, and in this context. It is found in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
If we fail to teach our young solid ethics like, don’t steal, don’t cheat, or don’t misrepresent the truth, then how are we to build their integrity?
Sadly, as it turn out, we may not be training them up in the way of our Lord, but we are certainly training them up in the way of the world!
How could we expect anything different than what we are witnessing if we fail to heed the warning?
Hopefully, prayerfully…we get our heads out of the sand!
A movie I recall from a real life tragedy once stressed the importance of heeding such a warning, The Titanic. Let us NOT follow that tragic end!
This culture may be a huge vessel to turn around but it will take men and women who are committed to the cause. It will be a challenging task considering the battles we will need to fight, the time needed on our knees, and the cost required in time talent and treasure.
Are you up for the challenge?
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