CHECK YOUR ETHICS!
Today’s world of neck-tight competitiveness puts immense pressure on corporate staff to be erudite about simple business ethics. Everything from how you persuade irritated customers to how you handle disagreements with passionate clients makes up one of the arsenals you must be armed with to win entrepreneurially.
Three decades or a tad earlier, it didn’t matter much whether you knew them or not. Most businesses simply flourished within the circumference of the community or country they were situated in. So everybody knew who sold what and what. To imagine that little social gaffes or even a trivial misunderstanding with your clients could cost you your profit seemed laughable. The mantra then was simple: If you had a super product and a sticky brand-name—voila!
Now, that narrative is a lot more complex than it has always been. The competition will not always go in your favor simply because the community likes your products or because your prices are affordable. Your competitors’ advantage is always something much more subtle than the quality of what customers purchase from you.
It is no longer news to see super- products edged out of the limelight for lacking something as simple as the art of listening to what customers want. Michael Dell had this covered. He built computers in a made-to-order fashion. You asked for the specifics you wanted, he brought just exactly that to you! These fundamental ethics made Mr. Dell survive the harsh rivalry between his fledgling firm and the reputable titan—Microsoft.
I once had my hairdo with a barber who was profoundly unreliable. He was hardly around and though he cuts pretty well, you were likely going to exhaust your airtime clamoring for his presence as you also must investigate how long it would him to get back to his shop from “where on earth” he must have gone.
Speaking of his shop—that is the most untidy room you could be in. Any thought that crosses your mind about how cluttered his shop is—is just about right! Then you had this noise-making clipper to momentarily deafen you as he hurries through the motions on your hair. His brushes were lean on powder, bottles were nearly empty of oil, creams were too greasy—they’d flow down your head leaving wavy tracks of oil as they journeyed to your face.
Obviously, he is making nearly the same mistake that plunges many corporations into incredibility. He is relying on his skill as his only selling point. But his skill is no good when customers don’t appreciate where he uses it—his clumsy old shop and who makes use of it—the man that possesses the skill.
Sound business ethic is like colorful petals perched on the garden of any worthwhile ambition; defining the degree of its attractiveness to the people it should serve. It anchors on the spirit with which you carry out an assignment and not the merely the skill required to do so. The principles of integrity, honesty, fairness, accountability, punctuality are the simple strokes that cause a turn for good to the gallant horse of your career.
What in your attitude makes you lose the trust of the customers that once believed in you? Remember every business has ethics—including yours! But the proof that they are sound can only be measured by the feedbacks from your customers. Do they want to come again? Check your ethics!