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Challenges and Opportunities: Creating an Ethical Business in the Twenty-First Century Earl Maxwell Austin, Texas Austin.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges and Opportunities: Creating an Ethical Business in the Twenty-First Century Earl Maxwell Austin, Texas Austin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges and Opportunities: Creating an Ethical Business in the Twenty-First Century Earl Maxwell Austin, Texas Austin Community College Assembly January 7, 2005

2 Overview Past three years have not been good years for CPA’s and Catholic priests I’ll briefly discuss events of the past three years What can leaders do to improve the ethical behavior of people around us?

3 Unbelievable things have happened in the past three years NASDAQ collapsed and.coms became.bombs 9-11 Enron collapsed Worldcom collapsed Andersen collapsed Corporate CEO’s led away in handcuffs Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley

4 What resulting changes have occurred in the corporate world? No CPA firm wants to be the next Andersen No CEO wants to be the next Ken Lay Fewer executives are interested in stock options CEOs and CFOs are spending lots of money on Sarbox 404 studies Many non-profit boards are adopting the spirit of Sarbox During the past year and a half, fifteen groups have asked me to speak about business ethics

5 What can leaders do? Change the nature of dialogue in our organizations Discuss with your people your own ethical guidelines and values “If you’re about to do something you wouldn’t want your Mother to read about in tomorrow’s paper, don’t do it.” “If you’re about to do something you wouldn’t want to discuss with your family at tomorrow’s breakfast table, don’t do it.”

6 Other ethical guidelines “Do what is right. You will please some people and you will astonish the rest.” -- Mark Twain “Ethical conduct is being honest, telling the truth, and doing what you said you were going to do.” -- Barbara Jordan The first ethical decision most of us will make each day is to be on time.” -- Barbara Jordan

7 Maxwell Locke & Ritter’s philosophies For the past fourteen years we have begun our meetings with several transparencies These belief statements have become our business creed and our foundation

8 We care for our clients. We care for each other. Our Philosophy

9 Maxwell Locke & Ritter Core Values Our firm is built on a foundation of people who are dedicated to the following values: Creating an environment where people do things because they want to, not because they're afraid not to Encouraging open communication Committing themselves and living up to their commitments Treating everyone with honesty, dignity and respect Serving our clients with the highest regard for competency, compassion and courtesy Actively participating in the community Treating others as they would like to be treated

10 “If it ever comes to a choice between my reputation and my income – I hope I’m smart enough to choose to protect my reputation.”

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12 Questions for leaders What are your personal core values? How are they aligned with those of your organization? How many of your people have a written copy of their core values? How is the nature of dialogue changing in your organizations? What are you doing to change the dialogue and resulting actions in your organization?


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