Ethical Decisions in 3 Steps, Smartly

Ethical decisions are rarely easy or obvious. Nothing less than your career and personal reputation is at risk. There are no perfect or easy answers. A few simple rules can help drastically improve your peace of mind on tough decisions. Smart ethical decisions are about balance. The potential outcomes often offer sliding scales of negative and positive combination results. Your goals are often in conflict with competing interests. Your personal life is in constant conflict with your career. Your career dedication competes with your required time for the marathon training you’ve been dreaming of. Such is the life of the successful business professional. Balance your decision with as many factors as you can consider. Do your best to identify all stakeholders. Put yourself on the other end of the situation and consider how the decision would affect you. Be sure your decisions are legal in terms of governmental laws but also in terms of your corporate rules and regulations. Source your mission, vision, and values statements for guidance. Finally, consider yourself. Is your decision consistent with your goals? It is almost always better to make a move that temporarily ends your career but keeps your self-worth intact. Change your processes, never your values.
You are busy and in a constant time crunch. You have no time for a three month academic study on ethical decisions. Entrepreneurial success is often quick and dirty not researched and planned. Make decisions quickly with good enough information. Avoid paralysis by analysis.  An interesting but quick read on ethical decisions can be found at SmartMoneySuccess. The Breviary: Business decisions are rarely easy. Stay true to your values and compromise on processes. Be deliberate and strategic in your thinking. Above all else, avoid paralysis by analysis.
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