"What Should I Do?"
Key Questions to Ask for Making Ethical Business Decisions
NOTE: This is a two-page "Tip Sheet" only. For a longer, more complete article, see: "What Should I Do? (UNABRIDGED)"
Should I stop and think things over?
Does my proposed behavior pass the Creative Thinker Test?
How would I feel if someone treated ME this way?
Am I keeping my word?
Is it legal?
The law may require you to do X. But is there an "ethical" obligation
to do MORE than the law requires? Conversely...
Ethical people do
"more than the law requires and less than the law allows."
Where can I turn for sound advice?
7. Does it pass the "Anything Up Anyone's Sleeve?" Test?
up MY sleeve? If you were on the other side of the table, is there anything
else you'd want to know that might negatively impact your decision to go ahead
-- either through omission (failing to reveal an important fact) or misrepresentation
(a fancy word for "lying.")
up HIS sleeve? Are you considering doing business with someone whose ethical
standards you suspect are lacking? If the answer is yes, trust your gut. Remember:
He that lies with the dogs, riseth with the fleas.
Does it pass the "What Works Best?" Tests?
vs. Long-term Are you thinking about "cutting a corner" (either
legally or ethically) to make a quick buck? What works best (both ethically and
bottom-line wise)? Placing long-term goals over short-term gains.
vs. Truth Are you placing loyalty (to your boss, coworkers or your company)
over telling or revealing the truth? What works best? Placing truth above loyalty.
(Even if your loyalty is to the President of your company.)
vs. Community Playing your
stereo too loud? Cluttering the sidewalk with overspill from your store? That's
placing your needs above community needs.
vs. Mercy The law may permit you to serve on summons on someone in the hospital
with a serious illness - even on Christmas Eve! ... But is it right?
9. Does it pass the
Mummy, Tummy and Headline Test?
Would my action (or inaction) align with community standards, or risk doing harm
to my business or community?
Would my action (or inaction) improve or diminish the health, safety or well-being
of my workers, business or community?
12. If there's an impact
BEYOND my community, is it positive or negative?
Question: What if EVERYONE did it? Often, this question can turn you
around 180-degrees. From What's the big deal? to That WOULD be a big deal!
Remember: This is a two-page "Tip Sheet" only. For a longer, more complete article, see: "What Should I Do? (UNABRIDGED)"
Saltzman is a speaker, facilitator and consultant who teaches people
in business to