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Alumni: Tell Us the Best Ethics Advice You've Ever Received

Sept. 27, 2007

By Dr. Blaine McCormick

What's the best ethics advice you've ever received? Two examples immediately come to my mind. I grew up reading "Dick Tracy" each day in the comics and he taught me that, "Little crimes lead to big crimes." It's far from being a complex ethical model. In fact, it's only six words. Yet, Detective Tracy's advice has shaped my ethical thinking in important ways. Two years ago, I met Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates and he told me his best advice was, "Don't play close to the foul line." Again, these seven simple words capture a powerful ethical concept.

This year, I'm teaching our BUS 1301 course. This is the first class that many students take when they enter the Baylor business school. I'd like to glean the best ethics advice from our alumni and pass as much of it on to the students as I can. In fact, we may even make a podcast out of it. Could you share your best ethics advice with me via email? My address is Blaine_McCormick@baylor.edu.

Here are a few guidelines:

- Keep it simple. The two examples I give above contain great concepts in just one short sentence.

- Keep it real. What advice came to your mind as you read this? That's the one (or two) to send.

- Keep it coming. If you think of additional advice after you send your first email, feel free to send another.

The ever-reliable Benjamin Franklin made a cottage industry out of good advice. Most of us remember a few of his maxims like, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." In his autobiography, he lauded the enduring legacy of good moral instruction he received as a young man. Your responses will go toward helping shape the next generation of business leaders.

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