Why You Need a Code of Conduct

But be prepared for what? The Scouting official website explains: “Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. For almost a century, Scouting has instilled in young men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country. ”

It goes on: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” But having a code of conduct isn't just some “kids-in-a-club” thing…

Consider these writers and their books:

All these men and many others point to the power of having and living by a code of conduct.

Every person should have a personal code of conduct.

Living by a code of conduct enables you to:

  • Make the difficult decisions in advance. From time to time you face decisions that lap over into the “grey” areas of ethics and morality. What will you choose to do in those situations? Having a code of conduct makes those decisions easier. Because you've already determined in advance what you will and won't do. 

  • Become the person you want to become. Without a code of conduct to guide you, it's easy to be influenced by those who have no scruples. The downward slide begins innocently enough. But just one small compromise leads to another…and another…and another. Then one day you wake up, horrified at the person you've become.

  • Improve the quality of your life. Your quality of life has primarily to do with relationships. To build healthy relationships you need integrity. Where does integrity come from? Living by a code of conduct.

  • Live with purpose. Many get caught up in the rat race of life never considering where they're headed or why. Having and living by a code of conduct provides you with a true north. You've contemplated your life and how you want to live it. You've established your code of conduct and you measure your progress by it.

Here Are Some Helpful Practices for Creating Your Code of Conduct

  • Make it specific.
  • Design it with leading measures.
  • Be realistic.
  • Think it through.
  • Rehearse it twice a day.
  • Journal until your code becomes embedded as part of you.

Here’s my own Code of Conduct

  1. I ask on an hourly basis (or more), “God, what are you doing in this situation?”
  2. I always remember my own Agency, and take 100% ownership of my decisions.
  3. I follow my current morning and evening success rituals without fail.
  4. I engage in 60 minutes of vigorous physical exercise every day.
  5. I eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
  6. I never lie, I do not swear, and I do not gossip.
  7. I act in a manner that is cheerful, polite, and courteous.
  8. I progress daily toward helping 100 million people fulfill their God-given dreams.
  9. I write 1,000 words first thing every morning.
  10. I don't do email before noon, and I don’t have unscheduled business calls.
  11. I always leave 40% margin in my schedule as open space to receive opportunity.
  12. I go to bed and get up at the same time every day (8 p.m. and 4 a.m.)

I don't always fulfill my code. In some areas I am solid as a rock. In others, I am a work in progress. But that's the point, isn't it? Progress? I have a clear code of conduct to work toward.

One thing is for sure..

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
– Zig Ziglar

Do you have a Code of Conduct or Rules to Live By?

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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