You are previewing Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life.
O'Reilly logo
Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life

Book Description

We often make small ethical compromises for "good" reasons: We lie to a customer because our boss asked us to. We exaggerate our accomplishments on our résumé to get an interview. Temptation blindsides us. And we make snap decisions we regret.

Minor ethical lapses can seem harmless, but they instill in us a hard-to-break habit of distorted thinking. Rationalizations drown out our inner voice, and we make up the rules as we go. We lose control of our decisions, fall victim to the temptations and pressures of our situations, taint our characters, and sour business and personal relationships.

In Ethics for the Real World, Ronald Howard and Clinton Korver explain how to master the art of ethical decision making by:
Identifying potential compromises in your own life
Applying distinctions to clarify your ethical thinking
Committing in advance to ethical principles
Generating creative alternatives to resolve dilemmas

Packed with real-life examples, this book gives you practical advice to respond skillfully to life's inevitable ethical challenges. Not only can you make right decisions, you can acquire new habits that will realize the best in yourself and transform your relationships.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. INTRODUCTION - Skillful Decision Making
  5. CHAPTER 1 - Almost Ethical
    1. Temptations to Lie
    2. Temptations to Deceive
    3. Temptations to Steal
    4. Temptations to Harm
    5. The Tragedy of Desensitization
    6. Time for an Examination
    7. ➢ Your Turn: A Moment of Remorse
  6. CHAPTER 2 - Draw Distinctions
    1. The Power of Distinctions
    2. Prudential, Legal, or Ethical?
    3. Negative or Positive?
    4. Actions or Consequences?
    5. Reasoning Versus Rationalization
    6. Testing for Rationalization
    7. The Distorting Power of Context
    8. From Ethical Jungle to Garden
    9. ➢ Your Turn: Ethics in the News
  7. CHAPTER 3 - Consult the Touchstones
    1. Our Religious Legacy
    2. Our Secular Legacy
    3. Our Work Legacy
    4. Miscues of the Rich and Famous
    5. Reconciling the Touchstones
    6. ➢ Your Turn: Outline Your Principles
  8. CHAPTER 4 - Draft Your Code
    1. The Ethical Code Process
    2. Failure Factors
    3. Ethical Owner’s Manual
    4. ➢ Your Turn: Prototype Your Code
  9. CHAPTER 5 - Choose Action
    1. Quality Decisions
    2. Accounting for Consequences
    3. Skilled Ethical Thinking
    4. ➢ Your Turn: Use Your Decision Tools
  10. CHAPTER 6 - Transform Life
    1. Choosing to Avoid
    2. Transform Lies: Tell the Whole Truth
    3. Transform Deception
    4. Transform Broken Promises
    5. Transform Theft
    6. Transform Harm
    7. The Growth Choice
    8. ➢ Your Turn: Transform Daily Life
  11. CHAPTER 7 - Transform Work
    1. There Is Only One You
    2. The Right Profession
    3. The Right Affiliation
    4. Transform Lying at Work
    5. Transform Deception at Work
    6. Transform Broken Promises at Work
    7. Transform Temptations to Keep (and Reveal) Secrets
    8. Transform Theft at Work
    9. Transform Harm at Work
    10. The Growth Choice at Work
    11. ➢ Your Turn: Transform Daily Work
  12. EPILOGUE - Habit of Wisdom
  13. APPENDIX A - The Elements of Ethical Thinking
  14. APPENDIX B - Ethical Codes
  15. OUR MESSAGES
  16. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  17. NOTES
  18. INDEX
  19. ABOUT THE AUTHORS