The Gray Band of Ethics

On October 23rd, ABQid had the opportunity to hear Brian Burnett, CEO of Bohannan Huston, speak on the importance of ethics within every organization and the commitment required from startup founders to ensure that ethics stay top of mind throughout their organizations. Brian’s passion for innovation and creating new things propelled him early on toward entrepreneurship and solidified his long career at Bohannan Huston where he’s been President since 1997.

Brian’s an entrepreneur who is passionate about the spirit of service, integrity and the pursuit of excellence within his organization. He emphasized the critical importance for leaders to develop their own ethical framework within their organizations. He explains that by consistently sharing the qualities that define unique ethical leadership in their startups, founders can create a vision that co-workers can act on and colleagues can expect, which ultimately builds long-term trust within the community.

The room was packed for Brian’s talk, with ABQid accelerator teams and local startup founders who understand that being an entrepreneur has both challenges and rewards and developing a moral framework around any organization is important. During the talk, these startup founders heard about the real life experiences that taught Brian the critical importance of establishing an ethical accountability culture in any organization and how to prioritize it as a leader.

Recent high-profile stories exposing large companies whose unethical behaviors have captivated the public mindset divert our attention from the important and subtler choices a startup makes every day. The day-to-day treatment of staff, vendors and business partners, how products are priced, how effort is recorded and ensuring the full disclosure of all pertinent information to clients are ethical priorities that must consistently happen every day and are critical to long-term success. Leaders need to decide what is right and wrong for them and create an ethical framework they can live every single day.

At ABQid we rely on the wisdom of our entrepreneur mentors and Brian’s talk was filled with the unique insight that can only be acquired through years of experience, effort and determination in establishing his own brand of ethics.