Posted by: christopherfeld | April 5, 2011

Develop a code of ethics

Ethical derailment tends to occur because we aren’t aware of what we stand for, and when we incrementally make choices that are counter to our values. To overcome life’s challenges, we must know our values, and we must stand by them.

One key way to do so is to develop a personal code of ethics. After developing the code, review it annually and update it as necessary. Also, keep it in a place where one can review it regularly. Lastly, if you aren’t aware of your values, pick up the newspaper and figure out what your stance is on the many issues. For an example code of ethics, see mine below:

My Code of Ethics

My ethical code impels me to act in accordance with my reason or conscious. I derive this duty from the imperative to treat people and myself with dignity and respect. I also have a duty to balance integrity, value, passion, love, purpose, respect, output, and excellence.

Yet, various duties will sometimes conflict as an individual, husband, worker, citizen, and student. Within each of these roles, I strive to do the right thing, regardless of the consequences. I will also all that is possible to be the best person I can be, and become myself. When confronted with a right versus right situation, I will promptly and thoughtfully consider the context, information, and stakeholders and evaluate the best and most ethical outcome based on my values.

To help me live up to my values, I am committed to a set of guiding principles. These guiding principles are as follows:

My Personal Code of Ethics

  1. I hold the categorical imperative—I see and respect each individual’s inherent self-dignity and humanity.
  2. I improve upon my human shortcomings—the propensity to error and moral lapse.
  3. I respect my body and mind by devoting time to physical and emotional betterment.
  4. I sensitize myself to other’s plights through free reading time, scripture study, contemplation, and continual education.
  5. I serve others on a consistent basis and create value in the world.

My Commitment as a Husband

  1. My family is my first priority.
  2. I actively seek opportunities to better my wife’s day, each day.
  3. I lead spiritually enlightening activities.
  4. I am a good listener.
  5. I love my wife unconditionally within our reciprocal relationship.

My Obligations as a Worker

  1. I am true to my personal values above all else.
  2. I perform my duties to the best of my ability.
  3. I grow influence within the organization to help the organization grow.
  4. I consistently include ethical reasoning time within decision-making processes.
  5. I follow and encourage others to abide by all company guidelines, rules, and bylaws.

My Obligations as a Citizen

  1. I am a steward of the Earth and its resources.
  2. I remain informed of pertinent issues and problems—avoiding “Tepid Ethics.”[1]
  3. I serve my community and make the world a better place.
  4. I enhance social discourse.
  5. I respect laws.

My Obligations as a Student

  1. I learn course materials to the best of my ability.
  2. I enhance classroom learning for my colleagues.
  3. I adhere to university and class guidelines, rules, and regulations.
  4. I treat professors, colleagues, staff, and students with respect, courtesy, and care.

[1] “Relatively few of our moral failings are attributable to inept reasoning about dilemmas. Many more arise from moral indifference, disregard for other people, weakness of will, and bad or self-indulgent habits.” – Edwin Delattre


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