We Don’t Need Business Ethics

Have you ever heard someone apologize and say something like "Don't take it personally, it's only business." I've heard it. And, as my father would have said, "It's a bunch of hooey."

A friend of mine has three rules for life. They are:

  1. Do what's right.

  2. Do your best.

  3. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

You have a life. It includes everything including business. You have no
authorization to treat people any differently in business as you would
treat someone you love. To do so is self-demeaning and usually used as
an excuse for greed and the pursuit of materialism above doing what's

Nowhere in these rules does it say that there is a set of guiding principles for your life and another set for your business life. The idea that a different set of rules governs business (and you as a business person) is how our economy got into the mess we are now experiencing. Companies don't need a set of business ethics. They need to operate by a set of human ethics.

It's up to all of us to stop making excuses for a different set of rules for business.

If you'd like to read some more of Lou's quotes – click here.

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