I took a business ethics class during my undergrad, and the first day of class my teacher walked in and said, “So, this class is a complete oxymoron”. We all laughed – but at that time I believed what she said to be true. We were in New York, and how could you not think about Wall Street or the banking scandal a few years ago…?
However, times are changing, and unethical businesses aren’t lasting long anymore. Consumers, as well as employees, are demanding change! So, what can you do, what steps can you take, to feel like you still have your soul intact after a long day at work? You certainly don’t want to feel like you have to sell it to the highest bidder.
First off, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. Don’t sell someone something you don’t have and don’t make like you can do it if you know you can’t. That would be tip numero uno.
And I’m sure plenty of you just read that and went, “Yeah right, I’d get fired” or maybe, “This girl doesn’t know how the world works”. I could tell you those may be fair statements, but they aren’t – so if I said that, I’d be lying – and breaking my number one rule…
So, sorry not sorry – if you choose to lie you make that decision. You can be pressured from the top but ultimately the decision to do what you do is yours!
Second – try to find a company that aligns with your own personal core values. If you believe in your company and what they’re doing, it is much easier to 1. follow the first rule ^^^ and 2. feel good about what you’re doing. If your value stream doesn’t align with your company’s, things could potentially get ugly for you – real fast.
Thirdly, take ownership of your decisions. Jocko Willink did a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada, in January this year, and he talked about extremed ownership. Ownership of your actions and your decisions promotes credibility, and shows others that you are dependable – not only when you are successful, but when you fail as well. Ownership of ones self, and of ones actions, is of greater importance than many of us think or care to believe.
By owning your actions, your decisions, your thoughts and beliefs – they are truly yours. They aren’t what someone told you they should be, they aren’t what your company believes they should be – they are yours and yours alone. That in and of itself can have a powerful effect on your mind, on your value stream, on your soul.
Let’s get REAL about what we are being asked to give our companies.
Let’s get uncomfortable and decide where WE are going to draw the line in the sand.