Personal Code of Conduct

If you didn’t make it through my first post in this series, I don’t blame you. What was supposed to be a 300-word post turned into 2000. Long story short, I have an assignment to publish a blog a week for the next 14 weeks based on the readings in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at BYU-Idaho. Those assignments are being published on my blog.

This will be an interesting one to post publicly. We are talking in class about the importance of setting up ethical guardrails early in your career, to prevent these questions from coming later when times are harder and poor decisions are easier to make. We were asked to write 3 phrases for each topic: things I will never do, and things I will always do. I will share these below, with a few comments afterwards.

I will never…
…handle money improperly (steal, embezzle, cook books, etc).
…take credit for another person’s work.
…put my ego above the greater good.

I will always…
…do my best work.
…care deeply about the work and the people involved.
…learn and adapt.

As I wrote these, I was intrigued by the statement “I will never put my ego above the greater good”. Over the last few months I have been trying to come to terms with how to balance an ego, and humility. I have very intentionally avoided boasting of my own skills and abilities to avoid creating an oversized ego. I value humility, and assume that others will see the good work that I do and make their own assessments as to my capabilities. While this has been a semi-functional strategy thus far in my career, I’m sure I would be a bit further along in my career if I were a little more vocal about my skills and abilities. This issue has made itself very apparent through some experiences in the last 6 months.

Because of those experiences, I have been contemplating this time in my career. I have wondered if that humility that served me well to this point may have outlived its usefulness. I have been slowly realizing that being confident in my abilities, and expressing that to others is a healthy thing to do. As I was writing these statements for this assignment, the concept of putting my ego in its place behind getting the job done makes a lot of sense. Self-promotion is important, and something I need to work on, but that will take a back seat to actually getting the job done for me.

How have you handled the balance between ego and humility?

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