Vice: A deeper meaning (Unit 1 – Lesson 2)

When you hear the word “vice,” you may think of the news outlet or a certain American television crime drama series. But when it comes to ethical leadership, the word takes on a deeper meaning.

Vice is a character trait that is considered a weakness and can lead to a person making unethical decisions.

Unethical decision making and vices go hand-in-hand with temptations. Temptations are situations where there is short-term motivation to make an unethical decision. Typically, temptations are harder to ignore if they tap into a pre-existing vice.

The key in overcoming temptations is being honest through self-reflection to fully identify any vices you may have.


*Image created by Amanda Cupido

For instance, if someone is in denial about having a gambling problem then it will be harder for them to avoid the temptation of their friend inviting them to the casino. The person will tell themselves it will be a good time and not acknowledge that it’s deepening a pre-existing problem. In order to avoid temptations like this, the person needs to identify their vice and then set goals.

*Video credit: YouTube/DecisionSkills

One person who was recently able to identify their vice and set goals accordingly was Canadian politician, Seamus O’Regan.

O’Regan admitted his problem publicly before any news outlets were able to pick up on the issue. He also stuck to his word and attended a wellness program over the holidays and is now back to work.

By being honest with yourself and setting realistic goals, people can control their vices and therefore, be less tempted to make unethical decisions. Everyone has their vices but by being aware of them, you can be in control of them.

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