One way to develop your ethical “muscles” is to exercise them. Using an ethics work-out gives you a routine to follow until you naturally follow your moral instincts in every instance.

The “Principled Leaders” diagram below provides a quick reference for how to build an ethical habit. A principled leader is a person who puts moral values into action in every area of their life. Looking at the diagram, you may feel that you are absolutely committed to ethics, but do you stand up for co-workers who are acting ethically despite pressure to do otherwise? Do you participate willingly in ethics and compliance training, or grumble and complete it under duress? Is ethics a topic you work into your conversations and professional writing, or just something you keep inside?

Principled Leaders – Are committed to ethics and values, walk the talk, champion ethical behavior, use good ethical decision making, actively participate in ethical training, routinely talk about write about ethics

Try this “work-out” to step up your ethics game. Before you know it, your co-workers and friends will look up to you as someone who makes doing the right thing a top priority.

Stacey Supina; diagram courtesy of Professor Dawn Elm.