Expo Keynote luncheon keynote speaker, Chuck Gallagher, told his audience,” Every choice has a consequence.” He speaks from experience, having served time in prison for a embezzlement. But it was a crime that started small and grew incrementally, once he was on “that slippery slope.”
Gallagher’s point in speaking to an audience of business people at Tuesday’s event was to help them address important issues of business ethics, and to identify how powerful unethical actions can begin with small decisions that were never meant to be illegal, or even hurtful.
“What systems are you putting in place to keep honest people honest?” he asked. Then he pointed out the primary reasons that people make “dumb” choices: financial problems, relationship problems and health issues. “We tend to make bad choices when life gets out of balance,” he says. “Ethical lapses don’t start big.”
An ethics breach can be viewed as a three-pronged situation involving need, rationale and opportunity, which is contained inside the “three-legged stool” of beliefs, values and experience. “It’s businesses’ job to remove opportunity,” he says, because people will cheat when they have a chance to do so.
He concluded his talk by stressing that “real success in life is making an impact on the lives of others.”
Gallagher is now a business ethics expert with extensive speaking experience on the topic.