Building Ethics into Your Business

When it comes to running a business, we’re consumed by the day-to-day of working with our clients, measuring our profit and loss statements and building future business. But what part of your day are you devoting to the ethical leadership in your business? Are you building a team focused on integrity, trust and accountability? If you’re not sure, I think it’s critical to your business – and the success of our business community – that you start to spend time on that as part of how you operate.

I’ve been thinking a lot about ethics and the values of Bill Daniels, whose namesake award I received from the Chamber and the University of Colorado Denver Business School in the fall. Daniels operated under a strong set of principles that showed an unwavering commitment to do what is right, even when it would not benefit him. That approach garnered respect and loyalty to the cable pioneer, and his legacy lives on through the Daniels Fund and honors like the Bill Daniels Ethical Leader of the Year.

When I reflected on how I lead ACM, and it’s 170 employees across four offices, as CEO, it’s Daniels’ values that help put a name to the work we aim to do. I can see each of his values present in how we lead and work with others: integrity, trust, accountability, transparency, fairness, respect, rule of law and viability.

At ACM we strive for transparency by sharing with the entire firm our annual financial results, the direction of our company and the business plan so that everyone is clear about the direction we’re heading together. We also make use of technology that helps us provide more regular feedback to staff and email accounts where employees can submit suggestions – showing our trust and respect for them and their insights. That’s led to changes to our vacation policies, dress code and in making our office healthier with a stocked kitchen and greener with sustainability efforts.

To me these values create an enrichment cycle – the more you give, the more you get. We know so many organizations lead by the same principles. I encourage you to spend more time working on them and engaging your team in these values as well. Your business – and Colorado – will be stronger because of it.

Bill Daniels Ethical Leader of the Year 2018: Greg Anton from Denver Metro Chamber on Vimeo.

Gregory J. Anton is chairman and CEO of the Denver-based accounting firm ACM and is the 2018 Bill Daniels Ethical Leader of the Year, recognized by the Chamber and the University of Colorado Denver Business School.