Let’s dive right into our Story, Highlight, and call to Action for the week 🙂
When I was in my first year of high school, I visited my Papa in his office. He was a college professor and dean then.
I saw a ream of bond paper in his office, and asked,
“Pa, can I bring home some for my school project?”
“Sorry, no, Sha! That’s not ours.” He replied.
“But, Pa! I just need a few copies.” I insisted.
“No, Sha, because the bond paper is the university’s, not ours. Don’t worry, I’ll buy you bond papers on our way home later.” He replied.
That happened over two decades ago and I can still vividly remember it up until today. That was just one of many instances wherein my Papa showed me through his actions that he is a man of principles. As a daughter, I am proud of him and I have deep love and respect for him. This is also why my siblings and I always make time to go home to our province to spend time with him. He doesn’t demand love and respect from us. He has long earned them.
This simple yet profound lesson from my Papa, about integrity and doing the right thing, has stayed with me through the years. It became the cornerstone of my philosophy, both personally and professionally. So, when I was invited to speak on ‘Fearless Possibilities through Ethical Brilliance, to a group of 900 officers and directors of different associations all over the Philippines, I knew I had to share this pivotal moment. It perfectly illustrates how foundational values can inspire ethical decision-making and leadership, igniting possibilities in every sphere of our lives.
As a motivational speaker, addressing ‘ethics’ to an audience mostly senior in years and experience was daunting. With attendees spanning from their 50s to 70s, and only a handful in their 30s, 40s, or even 20s, the task was challenging yet exciting.
I carefully crafted my talk, blending candor, respect, fun, and humor. I explored how ethical actions open doors to opportunities, while unethical behaviors can lead to scandal, reputational damage, loss of trust, and financial losses. I brought this to life with real-life examples and case studies and introduced the “5 pillars of ethical brilliance” with the acronym TRUST. Everything was anchored towards the identity I associated the audience with — Superheroes who embrace ethical brilliance and are trustworthy.
I was very happy with how the talk turned out. Audience members were so engaged and humble to listen. At the end of my talk, a number of them came up to me to share how much the talk resonated with them and inspired them. We took selfies. They also got my number and said,
“Sha, may we also invite you to our chapter in __(insert the names of some of the most beautiful locations in the Philippines).
“Doing the right thing even when no one is looking earns enduring respect and love.”
Call to ACTION
When faced with convenience, will you still choose to do the right thing?
- Will you turn off Netflix to spend 30 minutes with a good book?
- Will you follow traffic rules even without an enforcer in sight?
- Will you avoid bribing the traffic enforcer, even when it seems easier or cheaper?
- As an employee, will you work diligently when no one is watching?
- In sales, will you put your mission above your commission?
- As a leader, will you prioritize your employees’ well-being?
Character is built into these small decisions. Respect starts with how we treat ourselves. When we uphold our dignity, the respect of others naturally follows.
May we make choices that reflect our highest values, shaping a character we can be proud of.
And on the occasions we falter, we can forgive ourselves, learn from our missteps, and rise again, stronger and wiser. The path to ethical brilliance isn’t about perfection; it’s about progress, resilience, and the courage to keep striving for what’s right.
I wish you fearless possibilities! 🙂
Motivational & TEDx Speaker l Author l Adjunct Faculty, Asian Institute of Management
P.S.1 Planning your annual event or kickoff? Let me help turn it up a notch as your motivational speaker. Together, we’ll craft a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave your team feeling supercharged, inspired, and unstoppable. They’ll be thanking you for the boost, ready to tackle their goals with newfound zeal!
Simply go to https://www.shanacino.com/
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P.S.3 Good news! To help ignite possibilities and enthusiasm in individuals and teams, I’m hosting two online training/workshops in February 2024! This will be LIVE, online via Zoom.
Purpose Meets Performance: Aligning Your True Calling with Your Career
Feb 21, 2024 (Wed) at 7PM – 8:30PM via Zoom
Speak Up with Confidence: Elevating Your Voice in the Workplace
Feb 28, 2024 (Wed) at 7PM – 8:30PM via Zoom
Seats are limited. Register here: https://shanacino.com/talks
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