Recently I attended the AICPA instructor symposium, and ran into Doug Warren, who I met last summer at the Tennessee Society of CPAs annual convention. At that time, Doug was a participant in my keynote presentation: Embrace Your Inner Superhero. Doug is managing partner in the firm of Warren and Tallent, CPAs located in Sweetwater Tennessee and teaches fraud and ethics for the AICPA. While catching up, Doug shared a very interesting story with me.
Doug and his grandson Hunter’s birthdays are one day apart, and they enjoy celebrating the occasion together. This past year they made plans to hike a section of the Appalachian trail. As they got ready to head out, Hunter realized he forgot his compass. So they went to the camp store, purchased a compass, and arrived at the starting point for the hike.
At that point, the grandson noticed the new compass was broken – the needle pointed in one direction only! Doug explained that compasses work that way, they always point only in one direction, north. If you lose your way, Doug explained, you can point your compass to help guide you to your original path.
Doug realized that this story could be a great analogy for ethics. As he works with participants in his ethics seminars he underscores the importance of using a moral compass. If you veer off the ethical path, use your moral compass to get back on track.
Have you checked your moral compass lately?