Do Ethics and Money Mix?

A lot of us have probably heard that money can tend to be the root of all that is evil. Yet, when there are no people using the money, the dollar bills are nothing more than pieces of paper with different numbers on them. When you simplify it in that way, it shows us that money doesn’t have nearly as much power as the individuals who use it.

So, when the question is presented “Do ethics and money mix?” perhaps the deeper question is “What kind of characteristics do businesspeople need to have when it comes to handling money?” While there are a lot of answers that come with that inquiry, we have five main ones that all successful and ethical (and yes, you can be both) individuals in business tend to have:

Leadership abilities. Here’s the thing about a good leader: It’s not so much about them telling people what to do all of the time. It’s about them being good visionaries, being able to delegate, being good supporters and encouragers and also being willing to go the extra mile for their staff and their company. Ideally, when there is a good leader in place, they tend to work harder than anyone else.

Integrity. There are a lot of ways that you can define integrity, but the main one is simply having the courage to do what is right even if everyone else is doing what is not-so-right. When you have integrity, you don’t cheat on your taxes. When you have integrity, you don’t slight your employees on their benefits. When you have integrity, you are honest with your accountant. Bottom line, you care more about your character than, well, the bottom line.

Loyalty. Unfortunately, some people will even sign a contract and still try and get out of what they said that they would do. A loyal person is not just someone who honors their commitment to people, but their commitments in general. You don’t have to ever worry about if an opportunity will keep them from keeping their word.

Fairness. Have you ever worked for someone who seemed to treat one staff member or department better than another person or area of the company? As a matter of fact, the mistreatment was so blatant that you could even document it? A person who is ethical is a person who is fair. Now, that doesn’t always mean that you’re going to like or agree with their decisions, but it does mean that you will walk away knowing that they came from a legitimate and honest mindset.

Empathy. Sometimes, we’ll look at the state of the world and wonder if it’s the human condition to ignore the needs of others for the sake of personal gain. Yet, the Bonos and late Zig Ziglars and Mother Teresas of the world remind us that a part of being successful in this world is by being someone who is empathetic to the needs of others. Having money is not just about being able to buy what you want, but also being able to help others in need. When you use compassion as a businessperson, you have found a wonderful way of balancing ethics and money.

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