Thursday, June 26, 2008

Setting the PR Moral and Ethical Standard: People are Watching!

Let’s face it everyone. Morals are taught. We learn the basics, as children, in order to live peaceably in society as adults. However, there needs to be morals in your professional lives as well. Who teaches those? There’s a saying that goes, “If stand you for nothing, then you’ll fall for anything.” I know this slogan is usually used during more politically charged discrepancies, but it holds true in business as well. Here, it simply means, if you're not knowledgeable about something(s), anyone can get you to partake in, believe in and do almost anything. Well, my response is to this is, “that’s most certainly true if you've not set boundaries, moral boundaries for your professional career.”

Recently, I read another quote that says, Honesty is strategic and integrity is a rare commodity. Whoa! That’s a powerful statement, but true. Sadly, for far too long, even today, the PR industry has made the mistake of compromising honesty and integrity for the ”greater good of the client,” but I can guarantee you, that many of our peers find it hard to look themselves in the mirror everyday.

So I ask you, from where does your moral compass come from? Your parents, grandparents, professional peers, yourself or God? Decide now, because there are many people watching your every professional move just like you watched someone else's.

Throughout life, we’ve all admired someone’s professional acumen. Whether for the right or wrong reasons, we’ve wanted what they possessed professionally, especially if they were successful. As well, without noticing, someone has influenced us. Good, bad or indifferent, they have made some sort of impression on us. If we really took time and thought about the way we make decisions, honor our word or not, do business and even how we speak to people in the work environment, has been influenced by someone. Who was that someone in your life? Do their traits still follow you today?

At the end of the day, we all must choose who we will allow to influence us. Similarly, when people encounter you, what character traits, morals and values will they walk away with? As leaders, influencers and ambassadors of our craft, we must commit to instilling a high moral and ethical value system for others to aspire to.

Here is where a complete understanding your strengths and weaknesses play an integral part in what people will imitate. Both come with pros and cons, but as long as we have a handle on them, they teach us the best lessons about ourselves as well as how to best influence others.

10 Steps to Setting Morals and Ethics in Business:

1. Set realistic long-term and short term goals.
2. Remain completely honest with clients and business associates.
3. NEVER compromise, unless it’s for the glory of God and the honest betterment of your client.
4. Remain accountable to someone with the same or higher moral fiber.
5. Honor ALL financial obligations.
6. Know the industry trappings of your business and avoid them. Practice self-discipline.
7. Treat people fairly, according to God’s standards, not your own.
8. Let your “Yes be Yes” and your “No be No”.
9. Produce all work from a heart of excellence.
10. Be honest with everyone about what you know and don’t know - NEVER Lie!

When people have this type of person to emulate, there’s no stopping them and success is right around the corner.

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