Power Radical Ethics Part Two

By: Ken Keis


My premise is this: it is essential to give with integrity. An example of giving without integrity is the drug dealer who donates money to a school drug rehab program; somehow, the giving does not reflect an alignment of values. The act of giving, in your life and mine, must mirror our ethical beliefs.

In business for over 20 years, I have witnessed transactions of a questionable nature. I have not knowingly done anything illegal (except when I was 10, I stole bubble gum from a store; it still haunts me) but I know there are gray areas of interpretation and dubious conduct (not-quite-illegal conduct).

In the past couple of years, and more recently in the last few months, I have come to understand and enjoy the freedom that being above reproach can have on you and your business.

Living in integrity is like being pregnant - you are or you arenít! Let me cite an example.

You go into a pay parking lot and buy a ticket for a specific amount of time. You leave the lot prior to the expiration of your ticket and hand your ticket off to another driver to use. A kind gesture, perhaps, but the fine print on the back of the ticket says Non-Transferable.

Is it a trivial point or an indicator of your integrity? You canít be a little bit pregnant. At what level do you honor your integrity, 100%? If not at the ticket level, when would you choose to be totally honest?

That was a question I could not legitimately answer without contradicting myself, so I determined that the only way to be radically ethical is to be Radically Ethical!

My suggestion is this: during every interaction, both personal and in business, you have the choice to be totally immaculate in your integrity. This does not mean you become faultless; perfection is a dysfunctional goal because itís unachievable. Although some situations are open to interpretation in terms of the most appropriate action or approach, it is quite possible to be above reproach.

If we were all-knowing about you, what would others say about your integrity level? Letís say the tax department is about to audit your books. Are you excited, at peace, or frantically looking for a new country?

I have traveled the world and understand that many cultures operate on a different premise than radical ethics, but I submit that, in the end, if you wish to achieve the benefits of radical giving, radical ethics must also apply.

***
This Weekís Action Steps

1. Determine if you are ready to take the step of Radical Ethics.

2. If your answer is Yes, review your ethical standards to determine what you might need to change in terms of choices.

3. This is a process; give yourself permission to not be perfect and allow time for your intentions to be radically ethical unfold. If you feel you have made a mistake, forgive yourself. Without forgiveness, we would all be in trouble.

4. Make the choice to be as aware as possible of ethical opportunities and pitfalls.

5. When in doubt, donít cross the line. Is your integrity for sale?

6. Be aware that even when you take the position of Radical Ethics, others still might call your integrity into question. Accept the fact that no matter how ethical you are, you will not please everyone. Note: Some people confuse ethics with different styles and approaches -- such as you "sell" too much or you are too assertive. Style is a unique personal characteristic that has nothing to do with ethics, though some individuals might mistakenly link the two.

7. Pay attention to the mental and emotional freedom that living this intention brings to you. Quite frankly, I am finding the feeling of freedom more than amazing. I trust you will also.

By the way, I am not suggesting these action steps are going to be easy -- only worth it!

Until next time keep Living on Purpose,

Ken Keis

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