According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, ethics is defined as “moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.” Therefore, in an ideal world, ethics should play the ultimate role when making a decision. If ethics are the principles which guides one’s behavior then, ideally, all decisions should be made entirely based on ethics. Unfortunately, such is not always the case.
A few problems arise when one tries to make an ethical decision, especially as a leader. First, ethics may mean different things to different people. For example, my religious and spiritual beliefs are the foundation for what I deem ethical. However, for someone else, ethics might be based on laws or their own personal understanding of what is right or wrong. Generally, I do believe there are some behaviors that all can agree upon as being ethical or unethical. For example, most people understand that stealing from someone or murder is wrong. However, it is difficult, at times, to have similar ethical expectations of others as one does of themselves because of these differences in the understanding of ethics. Additionally, there are times when it might be easier for a leader to make an unethical decision for an immediate gain or to appease the wants of others. Examples of these include leaders who embezzle money or use other schemes to make money quickly or unlawfully.
For most leaders, making ethical decisions tends to be the goal. I firmly believe that more often than not, leaders do make ethical decisions for the betterment of their organization or business. There are cases when making an unethical decision might be easier, but the true character of a leader is tested when they are confronted with such a decision. Making the easier decision is not always the best decision for a leader’s personal sake or for the organization/business. Recognizing that not all decisions are ethical, one’s moral principles acts as a guide for their behavior and decision making. Therefore, ethics do (and should) play a major role in decision making.
As previously mentioned, my religious and spiritual beliefs shape my personal ethics. I grew up in a very Christian family (one grandfather was a pastor and the other is a deacon), so from a young age, I was instilled with a belief in God and His teachings, according to the Bible. As I get older, I am learning that a spiritual journey and relationship with God is one that is personal and cannot be easily taught or given by others. Therefore, I will admit that as I continue on my personal journey with God, my personal ethics are still being developed and shaped. Some behaviors that I may have thought were acceptable in the past, I no longer view the same. For example, I have a lot of passion for the organizations I am involved with, especially S.M.A.R.T, which is great as a leader. It is my passion which keeps me dedicated to the organization. However, because of this passion, when things are not going as I want them to,...