In Aristotle's Golden Mean, the basis of ethical decision-making depends on what Aristotle deemed to be "virtuous," or the perfect citizen. Kant's Categorical Imperative states that actions are "morally justified" if they are done out of duty. William David Ross explains that it is sometimes difficult to justify one decision as being "more ethical" than another. Each person's own idea of what is ethical varies- as well as their preferred method- and this is what makes ethics so difficult to pinpoint, and different real-world scenarios nearly impossible to fully "solve." However, in a way, the fluidity of ethics is a blessing in disguise.
If there were a strict, specific line drawn between what is ethical and what is not, this could ultimately prove to backfire. In the court of law, the "gray area" of what is ethical can often help those accused of crimes from escaping a heightened severity of punishment. If everything is black and white, right or wrong, the higher authorities can pre-determine someone's fate, rather than the situation itself being determined by ethics that are appropriate.
It is often easy to leave the term "ethics" in the realm of academics, and ignore the role it plays in our daily lives. In each situation, we must determine for ourselves what is the best decision, according to what we believe is ethical. The most important part of ethical decision-making is what the person sees as being virtuous. For example, when making financial decisions, or deciding how to structure organizations, one must consider what is right according to their own virtues.
Therefore, values such as responsibility, time management, and confidentiality must be considered when appointing potential candidates to positions. In order to maximize the success of a business or organization, you have to take all of these qualities into consideration. However, you cannot hire candidates who possess these qualities unless you yourself value them. This is how ethics and ethical decision-making can play a real and present role in one's daily life.