While there are usually no correct or incorrect answers to most ethical questions, Burton offered many tips for working through the issues.
Burton said officers should think about whether the behavior, like accepting free lunch, could be come habit forming and cloud other kinds of issues. Others include is it legal, is it safe, is it the right thing to do, will it stand the test of public scrutiny, is it fair and balance, can I defend myself, how will it make me feel, is what is being done serve the great good for the greatest number of people.
“You really need to listen to that little woman, or little man sitting on your shoulder questioning whether it’s the right thing to do,” Burton said.
Burton also offered some ethical behavior models and tips. First, he said always do what you say you will do; never divulge information given in confidence’ never become involved in a lie; and avoid accepting gifts from companies you do business with as it might compromise business deals
“The fact that chief officers have purchasing authority can cause a tremendous amount of ethical conflict,” Burton said. “Just try to keep in mind what is best for the organization.”
Above all else, Burton offered a closing bit of advice from Mark Twain.