Effective managers have a strong sense of purpose and ethics for themselves and for their organizations. A code on ethics can help establish mutually beneficial systems of conduct between management and employees, and between the company and its customers and vendors. A system of ethics provides principles by which we make decisions. Some ethical decisions are easy, but those that fall into gray areas are often difficult to face. It can be very useful to clarify your code of ethics, to become more comfortable making difficult ethical decisions, and to pass on the values to your team, customers, and associates.

How do you distinguish your business from the competition? Service, not cost will keep our customers coming back. Service is not just a smile or pleasant tone of voice. Authentic service is ethical, value based and practiced all the time. Our values may include integrity, accountability, quality, collaboration, and teamwork. A value may be defined as "that which is important to someone and which affects the way a person acts." We base our behaviors on daily choices, and hopefully, our strategic plans on standards and principles which arise from our personally held values. We look for this in our leaders, on our teams, and with each other. It’s surprising how often we share the same values, but never discuss them.

Try this: either use a facilitator or do it yourself. Take a few minutes and ask others on your team: “What values do you think we live by in this environment? Or what values should we live by?” If you can get some consensus on 2-3 values, you are on your way to higher levels of service. If, for example, your team chooses integrity as a top value, it becomes easier to be straight with the customer and each other. It becomes the expected norm. Shared values can provide consistency, community, and focus both internally and externally for our teams and organizations.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Marilyn Manning, CSP, CMC, the founder and CEO of The Consulting Team, LLC, and international author of seven business books, resolves difficult people problems. She specializes in interactive speeches, workshops, and consulting in the areas of Leadership, Teamwork, Conflict Mediation, Executive Coaching, Meeting Facilitation, Strategic Planning, and Communication. Over 94% of Dr. Manning’s work is repeat business. For more information about Dr. Manning and The Consulting Team, LLC go to her website at www.theconsultingteam.com