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Protect Your Work Balance & Reputation With a Code of Ethics

How to Work Smarter Streamline Success and Protect Your Reputation Through A Code of Ethics
How to Work Smarter Streamline Success and Protect Your Reputation Through A Code of Ethics

When you separate work and life, some roles require greater involvement. 

Some jobs are simply clock-in and clock-out shift work or casual jobs. However, others are demanding roles that could require you to be available when you are off the clock.

It is crucial to understand how to create boundaries between work and personal life and manage your workload on the clock to protect your happiness off the clock.

Our code of ethics guide will explore different value systems and how to choose one that suits you.

Value Systems or Code of Ethics to Govern Your Work


Source: The Institute of Business Ethics

A code of ethics can support a standard in how people work and operate. Backed by a macro-company vision or manifesto for the workplace, this secret sauce drives massive performance results for companies such as Apple, Tesla, Google, Deloitte, and many others.

In a company like Apple, the code of ethics runs through more than just the employers and employees.

One Apple progress report stated that their teams conducted over 1100 supplier assessments to determine if they would comply with their code. These suppliers were from 53 different countries.

If you are an employer, design a value system with your team that they support. However, if you are a staff member, you can design systems and map your processes for approaching your own work. 

A powerful way to protect your happiness at home is having a system to support how you complete your work when on the clock.

Codes of professional conduct govern many jobs; they are value systems or ethics that govern how someone should conduct their work.

Examples of code of ethics include: 

  • The Aust/NZ Group of Chartered Accountants. 
  • PMBOK for project managers.
  • ITIL for Information Technology Governance.
  • COBIT for Information and Related Technologies.

You can use the industry codes of ethics as a baseline for your work. But you should also have a personal code of ethics for how you approach your life and work. 

Doing this ensures you have greater guidance and purpose to navigate the ups and downs of life. 

What the most successful people around the world have in common is they have a personal value system or code of ethics that governs them and helps them deliver world-class work and live a fantastic life.

The Samurai & Bushido🎌

Taking this a step further, the traditional warriors of Japan, the Samurai, had a code of ethical conduct called ‘the Bushido.’ Bushido is a moral code concerning samurai attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle loosely analogous to the European concept of chivalry.

It was less of a work-life balance system and more of a code of conduct and standard for living.

They followed Bushido to guide how they live their lives with honor and respect. It included caring for captured enemies, handling disgrace, or betraying their masters. 

The Eight Virtues of the Bushido Code governed not just the Samurai but also how society interacted and treated the Samurai. 

For this reason, disgrace was a massive element of Bushido’s portrayal in films. Samurai viewed it as how to leave this world with honor, even after losing or disgracing their family. They call this honorable death seppuku (self-disembowelment); another name for it is hara-kiri.

The Vikings Code of Ethics

Viking warriors used a system to instill courage, bravery, and the pursuit of greatness. 

Dying in battle and being one of the Valkyries’ chosen warriors meant you would go to Valhalla to be in Odin or to Freya’s Hall following your death. 

There, you would do the following.


Roman Stoicism Code of Ethics

The final example is Stoicism. The Stoics are making a significant comeback in modern times. Yet, we can trace its origins back to the Roman Empire, specifically Athens, to the great Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium and the great Roman emperor philosopher Marcus Aurelius. 

Stoicism is a time-tested methodology proven to maximize your positive emotions, reduce your negative emotions, and help you hone your virtues.


Creating A Code of Ethics or Value System that Supports You On & Off the Clock 🧑‍💼

Although extreme or archaic when viewed in modern times, the three cultures listed in our previous section had the most fierce and mighty warriors. They navigated perilous seas to unknown lands and achieved substantial military victories and societal changes.

Many people still celebrate all three cultures today for their achievements and wisdom. Many businesses use elements of their code of ethics today for approaching life or how they work.

Defining your value system for on and off the clock can be simple and short, as in the fast and powerful book “The 4 Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.


Make your value system non-negotiable, protect your honor, and live respectfully so others respect you. Just as did the Samurai with The Eight Virtues of the Bushido Code. 

Also, mindset training helps you navigate your emotions so the outer world cannot rule you, as the Greeks did with Stoicism.

When creating or choosing your code of ethics, always remember that success leaves clues. Often, borrowing a proven blueprint is wise to develop a foundation for the best start.

Also, if you put some ideas from your code of ethics into your company’s code of conduct, you must ensure that your staff takes it seriously.

A survey by The Institute of Business Ethics found that of the 24% of employees aware of workplace misconduct, 35% said nothing about it.

Final Thoughts on Why Having a Code of Ethics Can Make Your Work and Personal Life Better 👪

By having a manifesto or code of ethics, you can ensure consistently delivering high-quality work faster.

You value a greater purpose in how you approach life and work. So, no matter the job or employer, your work is a matter of pride and instills purpose in your life.


You will maximize your output and manage expectations by approaching your work with a value system or code of ethics. You will stand out as a leader as someone others can rely on and trust. 

Examples of books regarding how to approach your work and life include:

  • The 4hr Work Week can help you learn how to delegate, simplify, and automate at work.
  • The Happiness Advantage can help fill your brain with positive thoughts to ensure success in work and life.
  • The 5am Club by Robin Sharma can help you live like a titan and copy Tony Robbins and the US president’s system for success.
  • The 48 Laws of Power by the best-selling author Robert Greene helps you understand how power works in all aspects of life.
  • If you work in a creative field, Show Your Work by Austin Kleon can help you understand how to share your work and approach networking.

Your code of ethics will develop naturally over time through your work and life. If it’s powerful enough, you might be like one of the following authors and write a book one day to lead others down your path to success.

To learn more on how to create and sustain an excellent workplace culture, head to Tommy.