International speaker, trainer and author, John Maxwell teaches business leaders that there is no such thing as business ethics. The underlying premise is that you have ethics, or you don’t; this will be reflected in the manner in which you run your business.

In light of recent allegations relating to Roundup causing cancer, you might wonder whether corporate officers at Monsanto, the makers of the herbicide, truly believe their product is safe. Many would say the company is more concerned with selling their product. However, recently held accountable for malfeasance, Monsanto’s situation may make you reflect on corporate wrongdoing in general.

Where other corporate officers’ ethics were in question

As you run your company or consider which businesses you’d like to invest in, you will need to do your due diligence to safeguard your assets. When examining a company and their financial situation, you will want to determine how certain goals and actions that company takes align with your ethics.

Like Monsanto, other businesses that faced ethical scrutiny include:

  • Goldman Sachs Group, who faced charges of securities fraud in 2010
  • Bernie Madoff with his alleged 2008 Ponzi scheme
  • Tyco’s 2002 corporate embezzlement scandal
  • Enron’s facing of securities fraud allegations in 2001

If you don’t have a great deal of business or investment experience, you can benefit from seeking wise counsel. An informed decision can help you protect your business, employees, stock holders and investors.

Your due diligence can guide you into making legal and ethical transactions as you choose where you will dedicate your resources. Rather than using “It’s business” as an excuse for your actions, you might be wise to rely first on your ethics.

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