At the National Ethics Association, we define “ethics” broadly. For us, doing business ethically is all about acting with integrity and having a strong commitment to excellence in every area of your company. In other words, you can’t do business with integrity if you don’t believe in delivering excellent products and services or in serving your customers well. By the same token, you can’t deliver great products or services if you’re clueless about treating your customers and employees fairly. Integrity and excellence are simply two sides of the same coin.
In prior articles, we explained how to create a Core Values Statement and a Code of Ethics (or Conduct). Defining your values and desired conduct is a tremendous achievement; most small businesses never reach this point. However, the challenge now is to shape employee behavior with these documents. If you can do this, you will be on your way to creating a company culture of integrity and excellence. This will surely delight your customers, while giving your company a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
These are risky times for hiring employees. Unemployment has been too high for four years, which means desperate job seekers are more likely to lie on their cover letters and resumes. In fact, according to Steven D. Leavitt, a University of Chicago professor and co-author of the best-selling book, Freakonomics, more than 50% of job applicants lie on their resumes and/or cover letters.
As most Americans, we’ve been watching the news from Aurora, Colorado with horror. Although it’s not our place to comment on the specifics of this case or on the politics of gun control, we will say this: All business owners and professionals should protect themselves against violence at work. To that end, here are 13 things you must know to keep you and your colleagues safe.
Poor Maxwell Smart, the bumbling secret agent of the 1960s TV show, “Get Smart.” He was so clumsy, naive, and foolish that he screwed up constantly. Still, he was resourceful enough to always defeat the evil spies from KAOS.
What a journey it’s been! Over the last six months, we’ve discussed how advisors kill their reputations. They become Sales Narcissists or Black Hat Tricksters or succumb to greed, disorganization, or technophobia. In this last column of the “Reputation Death” series, I’d like to talk about the most serious reputation risk of all—being a King (or Queen) of Pain.
When early humans discovered fire, some may have reacted with horror. Why did it produce such tear-inducing smoke? Why did it hurt to touch it? And why were its shadows so scary? But even our most change-resistant ancestors eventually accepted the benefits of having heat, light, and warm food.
Have you ever hired someone to provide a service, only to discover he or she “played” you with lies or distortions? If so, you fell victim to a “black-hat trickster.” This happens to millions of consumers each year. When they find out they’ve been tricked, they post Facebook rants or complain on Internet sites such as RipoffReport.com. Result: “tricky” advisors can see their reputations vanish as quickly as magician David Copperfield dispatched the Statue of Liberty: poof!
A quick way to kill your reputation is to be a shameless narcissist. No, I’m not talking about the kind of person psychiatrists study, but rather someone who’s a bit too self-absorbed for his—and the client’s—own good.
Across the nation, identity thieves are using legitimate information to scam honest taxpayers, and frequently posing as the IRS to do so. The IRS is taking this seriously, and has created the IRS Identity Theft Protection Unit to address the growing problem.