“Ethics are vital to the successful businessman,” said the man to a friend. “To give you an example: an old customer paid his account today with a hundred-dollar bill. As he was leaving, I discovered that he had mistakenly handed me two hundreds stuck together. Immediately the question of ethics arose.”
At this point, the friend thought, “Well, the question of ethics was whether or not he should return the 100 dollars to the customer. He’s, no doubt, going to say that he returned the 100 dollars to the old customer following his belief in ethics.” But what he heard was totally different from what he had expected. The businessman said, “Should I tell my partner?”
The question of ethics the businessman was talking about was not whether or not he should return the 100 dollars to the customer. It was whether he should keep the 100 dollars to himself or share it with his partner.
The friend started to say, “It may be a question of ethics, too, but,”. But his words remained unspoken, because the businessman had begun to talk proudly that as a result of the right decision of ethics, he had shared the 100 dollars with his partner.