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The ethics of living your career values … what would you do?

Thursday 28 January, 2021
by Anonymous

You have recently joined an organisation as the Head of Brand. It is a relatively new organisation. The leadership team have prioritised brand and feel it will play a key role in helping them stand out in a very competitive industry. 

You come with a wealth of experience and have previously helped developed an ethical framework for a small start-up.

Internally the brand seems quite strong, but the CEO recognises it’s the external factors not resonating with consumers. A brand audit indicates a lack of understanding by consumers about the organisation’s purpose and values.

In exploration of taking on this task you realise there is no ethical structure or framework around this organisation. You broach this with your manager to say developing an ethical framework could be an opportunity to strengthen the brand by linking it to purpose and values.

Your manager says there is no time to explore anything further and there is an expectation to deliver results to the bottom line, through brand, as quickly as possible.  

You know your business case needs to go further up the leadership chain for you to get buy in from the broader organisation. However despite your experience, being new means you have credibility to build, you're still gaining an understanding of the culture and learning to navigate the landscape and politics.

What would you do?

  • Is it better to carry out what’s requested and keep the status quo, waiting until you’ve built credibility through the task that’s been asked of you?
  • Should you break ranks and take it to the leadership team, risking your new job and potentially getting your manager offside if breaking ranks is not the norm?
  • If you deicide understanding purpose and values is integral to your job and you want to take it further - how might you do that?

We encourage you to post your thoughts in the comments so we can create a healthy discussion, with the aim of learning from our peers, becoming aware of differing perspectives and challenging our own biases.

Please share your ethical dilemmas with us - we can post them anonymously. You can email your dilemmas to


Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash


There are 1 comments for The ethics of living your career values … what would you do?.

Re: The ethics of living your career values … what would you do?

Friday 29 January, 2021
by Chris
I think if you need to hit the ground running, demonstrate the desired behaviours and values in your own dealings with others. Explain why you’re doing things in a particular way. Ask others in the course of the working day what values they uphold. Help others to adopt these values and behaviours.
At some point in the near future set aside time to get together with the team on an offsite meeting to discuss values and behaviours.

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The Oath

  • Trust is the foundation of my profession.
  • I will serve all interests in good faith.
  • I will compete with honour.
  • I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint.
  • I will help create a sustainable future.
  • I will help create a more just society.
  • I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same.
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  • In these and all other matters;
    My word is my bond.