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Business Ethics: Functional Choices

Years of experience have taught me there is no such thing as "Business Ethics". If a person isn't ethical in the rest of their lives, their business ethics aren't worth the shoe leather they've worn out either.

I stood beside a State Representative at college graduation recently, and heard him tell a gentleman shaking his hand that he had the utmost respect for the President of the college, because he knew who her friends were and they all had good solid "Business Ethics". I raised an eyebrow and continued a conversation with another friend nearby. It was my third College Graduation this year.

At a high school graduation, I listened to the Valedictorian say, "Your values for living all of your life will follow wherever you go." At another graduation, an honorary graduate stated, "Who you are today will be reflected every day of your life, by what you become tomorrow." At another function, celebrating the accomplishment of older students, those who were returning to school after being part of the work force for many years, I heard yet another speaker say, "Your life is marked by dates, one at the beginning, and one at the end, with just a dash in between. A short little dash reflecting who you were, what you accomplished, and the values you held. How important will your dash be?"

As I reflect on these comments, I look back at my own life. Every choice has a consequence. I know, because I've made a few bad choices, along with the good ones. As I look back, I often realize the choices I made that didn't turn out so very well were often made with the influence of other people, so I have to look back further. This brings me back to the comment by the State Representative, about knowing the President of the College's friends.

Sometimes, our choices of friends are the first bad choice of many. We are judged by the company we keep, and ultimately we pay the consequences of the choices we've made, influence by the company we keep. That's a bit redundant ? but extremely true. If you desire to be ethical, you live an ethical life, and you choose ethical friends.

What do your friends and your choices say about you?

If personal fulfillment is your goal in life, ethics may appear to be unnecessary. However, you reap tomorrow what you sow today. Pay attention to the seeds you plant.

Copyright ? 2005 ? Jan Verhoeff

Designing your future requires choices in prescribing your brand, and setting your future. Jan Verhoeff has experience in designing your brand and market performance for business development. Let her expertise help define your business online. Visit her at eBiz Brand Performance.

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