Alaska Professional Guide Ethics and Authenticity

Alaska Professional Guide Ethics and Authenticity, they go together, not like bread and butter but more, like yeast and bread. Without authenticity, an Alaska Professional Guide’s ethics would come into question.

Guide Ethics and Authenticity

Guide Ethics and Authenticity

As one of only two Alaska Guide Training programs recognized and approved by the state of Alaska, leadership is the highest priority, everyday.

The lessons I have learned, the wonderful and insightful leaders I have met, have taken my own leadership capabilities and effectiveness as well as my own understanding, and moved forward in leaps and bounds.


When I read that, for the first time, I immediately thought back to last year, 2012, at that time, I was finishing the Alaska Professional Guide Ethics class that I had been asked, by the Alaska Commercial Services Board and the Alaska Big Game Guide board, to create and implement.

That is exactly what the Professional Guide Ethics class is about. “Who are you, when no one is looking?”

Guide Ethics and Authenticity

If the difference between ethical and unethical was the same as the difference between legal and illegal behavior, what is ethical and what is not would certainly be easier to understand.

Authenticity refers to the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions.

“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

Simply put, Ethical behavior is behavior that is accepted as good, rather than bad and right rather than wrong.

As easily to understand, being authentic is not only saying and sharing the right things, but living them. Walking the Talk.

“No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.”  
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ethics. It is the blood that runs through a Professional Guide of Alaska.

Authenticity. Is delivering what you promise.

The field of Ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.

“Doing what is right when no one is looking.”  ~ Henry Ford

“Who are you, when no one is looking?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

~ Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit

Are you interested in becoming an Alaska Professional Guide? If so, you may want to ask yourself, “Who are you, when no one is looking?”


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12 Responses to Alaska Professional Guide Ethics and Authenticity

  1. Ahhh, the wise words of “Skin Horse” and the wise words of you, yourself. You are an inspiration in everything you do and are definetly “REAL”

    As Always ~*~

    • Bianca,

      One of the things I repeat and stress, constantly, is that Professional Guide Ethics are not something to be put on and off as hunting seasons open and close. It is something that comes from and has to be tended, from within.

      To answer, yes. These are the nightly talks I have with my Team. We discuss the day’s events and happenings, worries, and issues. We discuss how each experience is something to learn from… and boy! have I gotten good at taking ANYTHING and twisting it to how it relates and impacts our own lives, as a Team and as individuals, as Professional Guides.

      Who are you, when no one is looking? … THIS sums it up. Completely.
      Thank you, Bianca! For stopping in and asking… you always can, and I hope that anyone reading this knows that.


    • Susan!
      My Grandfather was the one in my life that made it (personal AND professional ethics) a daily pondering. I can remember the talk we had… I couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old, sitting on the pole fence together after dinner while he smoked his pipe… Him telling me that no man (or his little honey-girl) could ignore what and how important it was to have strong and right ethics. He told me it was like getting dressed after a shower, I had to have them on and clean. He told me that no matter where I was, no matter what I would do as I grew up, that my ethics, both my own personal ethics, how I thought and acted on those thoughts as well as professional ethics and what I stood for, for the world to see, would be on display. (Oh, what would he think of Social Media today!!)

      Thank you for being here, Susan!
      ~ Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

  2. Amber,

    Interesting subject.

    I was on FB the other day and was getting very, very angry at this thread that was opposing hunting.

    I am not a hunter, but I do know hunters. The ones I know are very ethical and great people (yourself included). So when I was reading the thread about 98% of the people on it were very much against hunting BUT not because they were anti meat or anti killing of animals but because of the views they had of hunters.

    It was very sad. They believed that most hunters were stupid, to begin with. And beyond that, unethical. That they shot for sport and waste. That they are violent and blood thirsty. People honestly believe hunters are these brutish caveman types that pick their noses (ok, many probably do) and beat their women.

    I was sickened. And anyone that tried to stick up for any hunter got shot down (pun intended) as if they were idiots.

    It was very sad.

    Of course, there is always the bad seeds of any group that make the whole look very bad. And that is exactly why you need ethics even when nobody is looking.

    How do you treat the outdoors when nobody is looking. How do you think of others when they are not around? All this matters for your own good and for the good of the group.


    • Allie!
      Thanks, my friend, for getting riled up on behalf of others.

      Yeah, I used to try to “explain” the errors of these thoughts and opinions but soon realized, most didn’t care about the FACTS… they just want to hate.

      And you are right. This is one of THE biggest lessons all hunters learn…it matters, in the field and out of it, dressed in you Sunday clothes or ready for the office… You have to be ethical at all times.

      Thank you for being part of our world, Allie.
      ~ Amber-Lee

  3. Excellent! Applicable to all, Alaskan guides or teachers, house cleaners or carpenters, CEOs of Fortune 500s or librarians. Thank you.


    • LOL!!
      Absolutely, Peg!
      Everyone. Some people don’t seem to think about their own ethics… personal or professional and I think that is a mistake.
      Our ethics, our values, our very integrity are what we are made of. Whether we know it or not, they are what rules our every action. Shouldn’t we know them? Yes.
      I am glad you came by, Peg. It means a lot to me!
      ~ Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

  4. I love that these are things that are important to you.

    Ethics is not academic! It is about action and behavior – yours and mine. It is about our relationship with ourselves and with one another – all of that within the context of the human drama, the dignity of the human person, hope, and destiny.

    Who are you when no one is looking… that cuts to the chase like an axe biting into wood. And sometimes I think that the challenge is not the mistakes made, but the mistakes unrecognized by our hearts and minds and, thereby, given permission to continue, flourish, and do harm.

    God bless you, Amber-Lee.

    • Stan!
      Yes, yes, yes!

      “but the mistakes unrecognized by our hearts and minds and, thereby, given permission to continue, flourish, and do harm.”


      If we don’t look with clear eyes, if we don’t “own” our mistakes, failures or failings… they cannot be moved past.

      Thank you Stan, for being here.
      God Bless & Safe Adventures!
      ~ Amber-Lee

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