Updated: Dec 17, 2019
I can forgive a young person making some rookie mistakes if they have not been introduced to high standards by their parents. They need guidance. We should all extend a friendly hand.
But when senior people cross the line, anarchy will follow.
Sometimes you meet colleagues who challenge you and your standards, do you stand up to them? Let others stand up to them? or leave them be? To continue their failure and bad behaviour?
Ethical Standard #9. Have the courage to make a stand – be prepared to act if you suspect a risk to safety, or malpractice of any sort.
I recently extended a hand to a young man, who very cleverly was working within a set of rules to administer a project 'fairly' as he saw it. As a result of the processes he operated, I saw someone who had destroyed the soul of one person, lost the trust of two others and was endangering a good business relationship.
So, I extended a friendly hand. But it seems the face doesn’t want to hear what the hand can offer.
Ethical standard #7 Always treat others with respect. Never discriminate against others.
I had the honour of acting fairly and transparently with a claim submitted. The claim was not well received. There was nothing wrong with the claim, except it was unexpected, and arose from a misunderstanding about the rules.
Ethical standard #6 Be objective at all times. Give clear and appropriate advice. Never let sentiment, or your own interests cloud your judgement.
I did not appreciate the ungracious approval, but I accepted it because it came from a person who acted with honour in their dealings, even when they did not personally like the outcome. I have to respect that person, and hope humility and grace will follow one day.
I have always said the rules are only there for those who want to follow them. Like all things in life, the ethical standards we admire and espouse, are a free choice that will amount to nothing, if we choose not to practice them.
Check in with your own personal ethics standards today. If you think you can do better, set a new goal and pursue it. Everyone else will appreciate it, and you will be a happier person.
By Matthew Ensoll Editor, The New Zealand Building Economist (NZBE).