Ethics in business today suck. Entrepreneurs are too focused on profit as the ultimate goal.
Business Is a Game
In baseball, a power hitter is often measured by how many homeruns he hits. As fans, we idolize and adore good hitters.
But, hitting homeruns isn’t his ultimate goal.
It’s a means to an end. The end is winning games… and winning enough games to be called a champion.
Often times, his legacy depends on whether or not he won a championship… regardless of how many homeruns he hits.
And, if he cheats to win, his legacy will be forever tainted… regardless of how many homeruns he hits.
If You Cheat, You Lose
Business is the same. It is a game… one with explicit rules and an implicit code among its players. The ultimate goal is to create value.
Your legacy depends on winning the game… regardless of how much money you make.
If you break the rules or the code, your legacy will be forever tainted… regardless of how much money you make.
Profit is simply ONE measuring stick used to determine how successful you’ve been at creating value.
It’s based on the assumption that the more value you create, more people will pay you, and people will pay you more… for the things you create.
But, if you shortcut the process to garner the profit without creating the value… you lose. And, your legacy will forever be tainted. No mulligans.
What? You don’t care, you say. Your big house, fancy car, and expensive toys will get you through.
Go ahead. Try it. But, when you do be sure to look yourself in the mirror every morning. Tell me what you see when you do.
I cheated once. I chose profit over value. And, while I broke no laws, I broke the code. And, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and be proud. Never again.
Honor the Code
You should play by the rules and honor the code. Compete aggressively, but fairly. Focus on creating value.
- Because the rewards are real and permanent
- Because your legacy will be untainted
- Because you will be proud of yourself
- Because you usually make more money anyway
- Because others will rightfully adore you for it
Ethics in business today suck. And, it’s time for those of us who believe in ethical entrepreneurship to step up and enforce the code. Consider this a warning shot.
photo by PaulSteinJC