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Weber State University, the Utah Jazz, and employee ethics
May 07, 2013 | 2220 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Davis Chamber of 
Commerce President
Jim SMITH Davis Chamber of Commerce President

Irecently attended part of the Ethics Day Series of speeches at Weber State University and heard a presentation by Randy Rigby, President of the Utah Jazz.

What he said rang true with me and paralleled my own experience in business, so I thought I would share some of these thoughts with you.

Rigby said that one thing he enjoys about sports is that it can be a microcosm of life. Every business, every team, every individual has competitive advantages and disadvantages that need to be addressed.

We all need a moral compass to help us decide how to address all the pros and cons of daily life.

According to Rigby, that compass is ethics, the outward expression of our internal character.

Ethics drives the way we balance winning and losing, profit and loss, right and wrong.

In his experience, the root cause of ethics problems is selfishness.

When the individual player starts to feel he is more important than the team, when an individual player starts to focus on his stat sheet and future contracts, the moral compass of ethics is skewed. 

Time and again I have had employees on my teams that were the kind that would have been considered “superstars” but who just didn’t make it in an environment of ethical team behavior.

There are people who appear to succeed by driving down the performance of those around them. Maybe they belittle others, maybe they push teammates out of the limelight, or maybe they distort reports.

In any event, there are people who drive down the performance of those around them.

You cannot have a long-term, high-performance team with them on the roster!

What I learned from Randy Rigby has direct application to my life Р and yours!

You are responsible for your own decisions Р in business and in your individual life.

The world is full of those who abandon ethics when faced with a decision of profits over integrity.

You and I have seen countless examples of those who didn’t have the strength to hold the ethical course.

The worst advice I ever heard is this: “If you can’t serve as a good example, at least you can serve as a warning.”

Hold to your ethical standard. Doing the right thing is always the right thing! And in my experience, in the long run it just makes good business sense!

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