5 Questions That Prove How Ethical You Really Are

...how comfortable are you making these decisions?

Look, look, there he is. Yeah, I see ‘em. Come on, let’s go – we gotta head him off before he gets back into his office. I’m gonna get him first…not before me!


As you walk the halls of your business the employees make obvious efforts to greet you and do their best to become “known”. They know just a mention of their name from “the boss” may lead to future opportunities. You wield power and prestige. Your decisions chart the course for the company and the employee’s careers.

With sound judgment, logical reasoning and nerves of steel you’ve built this business to the powerhouse it is today. You’ve made great decisions.

But how ethical have your decisions been?

There are 2 kinds of leaders:

  • One who mentors, coaches and brings out the best in others
  • One who leads his/her company to success that’s built on the shattered hopes and dreams of others.

Which are you?

A few months ago a friend of mine shared a unique list of questions that must be asked when making business, or even social, decisions. These 5 questions focus on the underlying effect these decisions have on people.

These questions also drill down on you, the decision maker. How comfortable are you with these decisions?

5 Questions That Prove How Ethical You Really Are

1. Is The Decision Legal?stevedigioia.com

It’s bad enough for you to do something illegal but to ask your employees to do the same is criminal. People want to do an “honest  day’s work” for an honest day’s pay. Yes, that old fashioned phase is still appropriate today. So why should your employees put their future in jeopardy because you want to take illegal shortcuts?

2. Is The Decision Fair?

I must admit that I’ve used the term “life isn’t fair” many times. Can we even make a decision that’s fair to everyone involved? Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe, maybe not!
When developing a new procedure ownership / management has an obligation to assess the repercussions of the decision and ensure there’s no inherent bias or favoritism that will rear its ugly head later on. This leads to question 3…

3. Does The Decision Hurt Anyone?

There are those who believe that the only way to be in a “favorable light” is to cast a shadow over others. Click To Tweetstevedgioia.com/blog

Do you even consider those around you when making decisions? Or do you intentionally disregard the potential negative repercussions?

Every decision will affect people differently, and some more than others. Using a method traditionally applied to training programs, the ADDIE model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) gives a better picture of how a decision touches others.

We must take this into consideration when weighing the pros and cons of our actions.

4. Have I Been Honest With Those Affected?

As long as we’re afraid to tell the truth, we shouldn’t be surprised by those that tell us lies. Click To Tweet


Some decisions are difficult to make. Terminating an employee, breaking up with a partner or relocating your family for a new job are some of the most difficult decisions we make.

We must use clear, concise and accurate words when dealing with situations that make a change in the lives of others.

It’s so much easier to tell the truth, do you agree? No lies to remember, no made-up facts to string together and you’ll have a clear conscience.

5. Can I Live With My Decision?

As a leader my decisions affect others. Every action I take brings success or failure to those who’ve put their fstevedigioia.com Integrity aith in me.

Being able to sleep well at night, knowing that my name is as good as the work I perform and the value I bring to my business means a lot.

Once we lose our integrity, our word & our values, what else is left but just a shadow of what could be.


The next time you have a difficult decision to make, look back on this post. Ask yourself these 5 questions that prove how ethical you really are. I know you’ll make the right decision.

Copyright © 2018 Steve DiGioia

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2 thoughts on “5 Questions That Prove How Ethical You Really Are

  1. In an economic environment increasingly characterized by strong competition and a stressful professional life, is essential for a leader to have the ability to pick up the signals, act to take advantage of market opportunities and turn them into competitive advantages for the company, in a logic of trust and cooperation with co-workers, communicate decisions and act accordingly. The difficulties for a leader not count, because in most cases are just the challenges, competition to spur the leader and keep him focused on his vision, despite the obstacles. In these situations, what is of even greater importance among the qualities that a leader must possess is certainly his ethical behavior: decide ethically conforming to the fundamental values that are the basis of all interactions between people. In a context that he want organized and efficient, the best solution is to strengthen the moral and ethical sense, the sense of duty towards society by anyone, especially those who exercise leadership.
    If people are not guided by internal values to perform their duties with professionalism to build a better society and not to defend and strengthen their own power, any control system, even the most sophisticated, it will show flaws and, unfortunately, will be discovered only a posteriori. Educating value means first know and understand what is right, only to find that what is right becomes convenient. And it is especially this quality that makes the leader a model to follow. He represents the reference point for credible and trustworthy, one that fosters cooperation at all levels and that brings forth his vision and mission. In this way the organization can effectively promote the growth of other leading reliable to whom he can delegate some powers, because he knows he cannot centralize upon himself all the power and that must divide it consciously with the team that has been able to build.

    • Hi Mr. Aldo.
      It’s often said that a child’s school teacher, many times more than the parents and/or society, has a great effect on their thinking – both logical and moral. A leader (boss) is no different.

      He/she sets the tone for all actions to follow. If unethical actions/measure are taken some employee may believe “this is what we do” with little afterthought to the repercussions.

      This is not how we build a better society, as you mentioned.

      Using fame and/or fortune as the outcome changes our thinking to that of outcome-based versus people-based. That’s not how this country was founded. It was on hard work and our rewards came after we took care of others. But we need a heavy focus on ethics for this to happen. Thanks.