At its core “ethical” begins with understanding that all of our actions - from what we say we say, to how we say it, to the way in which we follow through on what we say - carry the weight of impact, whether positive or negative. To create positive impact, we must be intentional with how we show up in the world. This requires a lot from us personally. It means listening radically, asking the hard questions, taking stock of your own intentions, and humbling yourself to admit when they are misaligned with the long-term benefit of others.
In business showing up intentionally means shifting the traditional definition of success of the singular profit bottomline to a more holistic framework - one that takes a top-down approach to all facets of your organization, not just a select few that can earn you an “ethical stamp of approval.” A framework that recognizes that your business or nonprofit structure, functions, and presence have the power to effect those it touches. Sometimes this means focusing less on immediate return and more on sustainable long-term impact, more than even the triple bottomline.
Ultimately, here’s what being “ethical” is not: it’s not something that you arrive at.
Rather, it’s an ongoing process of striving to do good. It’s showing up, every day, holding firm to the dream and purpose that first lit a fire within you. It’s choosing the right way, even if it’s the hard way. It’s failing, checking egos, challenging those who tell you you can’t, and never letting go of the belief that change is possible.
Chasing this “ethical” standard can feel muddled and overwhelming at times. Isolating, even. It’s hard to know where to start, let alone where to go next or who to ask for help. Through the School of Ethical Impact®, we want to change that.