Playing It Straight in a Crooked World
I tend to optimistically believe in the inherent good of every person, but know that unfortunately we live in a crooked world. Greed, power, inexperience, or sometimes just plain carelessness will cause a person to act in unscrupulous ways. Fear can cause normally good people to make character decisions that disappoint. Fear can also flame the embers of negative behavior patterns to make them more pronounced. It’s happened a lot over they years. You only have to read a newscast to hear stories of business people who lied, stole, or cheated in the name of success.
I understand that certain elements of the business game require strategy and cunning to navigate. That’s what makes the thrill of entrepreneurship so enticing to many competitive-natured individuals. I also understand and respect the fact that people make mistakes. My concern here is for those who are drawn to the “dark side” because of fear and greed. It’s been said that people are like teabags…you don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.
Franklin Covey, in his book “The Speed of Trust” talks about not taking relationships for granted and demonstrating respect, transparency, and accountability in all you do. All true, but awareness is only half the battle. How do we actually practice making good choices?
In 1932, Herbert Taylor was going through a (similar) business crisis. During what was to later be called The Great Depression, Taylor wrestled with questions of morality and integrity in business. He witnessed his comrades wrestling with similar issues. It was from that struggle that he penned the Rotary 4-Way Test. Now translated into over 100 languages, it has been a lighthouse for businesses ever since. You don’t have to be a Rotarian to access its wisdom. For a well-written article on the Rotary 4-Way test, follow this link: A New Look at Global Ethics and the Four Way Test
I’ve heard it said that character is determined, not by what is observable, but by what choices are made when no one is watching. Don’t act out of impetuosity or fear. Slow down and take time to think.
Lose your finances…you can rebuild.
Lose your business…you can start anew.
Lose your customers…you can earn a second chance, or find new ones.
Lose your integrity…you lose.Tags: Business, courage, Ethics, Integrity, Rotary, Rotary 4-Way Test, Success
Categories: Business, Entrepreneurship, Management, New Business, Success.