Many, many companies say they have ethical standards, very few live by them. In comparison, the Legacy Group is an integrity-based organization with ethics at its very core. It’s our raison d’être—the reason for our existence—and the basis of our operational imperative. That’s why we pride ourselves on partnering only with like-minded companies.
Read this “test” of business ethics and you’ll see what the Legacy Group is all about. We strive, every day, to pass this test with flying colors. When we educate customers or potential business partners about our company, we need to be clear: we’re not just talking about ethical standards. We live this conversation, inhabiting the highest standards of ethical business practices in everything we do.
“The first test of whether a prospective employer is ethical is benevolence. Does the employer care about others? Someone or some organization that lacks compassion for others is likely to be unethical. The ethical employer has learned to balance concern for personal wealth and the profitability of the business with the multitude of other stakeholder interests. Ethical managers have a genuine concern for the well-being of their employees, customers, stockholders, suppliers, and the entire community. They are focused on making a profit, but not blind to all their responsibilities to the entire set of stakeholders. They make money within the bounds of ethical behavior for themselves and their organization.
The second test is a long-term focus. … Some decisions may be beneficial in the short term but disastrous in the long term. The more ethical manager will face up to the pressure of these short-term demands and make decisions that will result in sustainable competitive advantages for the overall organization in the long run. If instead your employer tells you, ‘You must make the numbers by the end of this quarter and I don’t care how you do it,’ start looking for a new job because you have likely fallen into a den of unethical people, and they may well drag you down with them. ‘How you make the numbers’ is important. The challenge is to ‘make the numbers’ while conducting business with high ethical standards. Ethical managers accept this challenge. They have a good sense of their values and the courage to stick with them.
The third test of ethical employers is whether they view boundaries of their behavior as what is ethical or as set by whatever the law does not expressly forbid. Remember, ethics is like the sea and the law is like a frozen iceberg on that huge sea. Ethical employers seek to do better than simply avoid the icebergs: They take the high road. Do not set your standards as simply staying out of prison. You can do better than that. However, if you find yourself employed in an organization with no higher standards than to stay out of jail, then you are on a slippery slope where the likely outcome is unethical behavior that good people find shameful, if not illegal.”
From Principles of Management and Leadership by Stephen Hallam.
Article by Donna Marganella