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It's Not Personal. It's Just Busines - Articles Surfing
In life there seem to be two acceptable standards of ethics. One applies to personal life which I'll call personal moral ethics and the other is the standard for sports or competitive games which I will refer to as competitive gaming ethics. Under the personal standard, *most of us would agree that it's wrong to deliberately mislead or deceive another person, or to steal. In competitive games, the rules or ethics are different. In gaming ethics, deliberately misleading and deceiving others is not only allowed, but is an essential skill for wining [the game].* (Quinn McKay, The Bottom Line on Integrity, (Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2004) p.71- 72) For example, a basketball player seeks to mislead and deceive his opponent with head fakes, screens, and misdirection plays. In baseball, stealing bases is a good strategy for base runners; in football stealing the ball is one of the objects of defense.* (Quinn McKay, The Bottom Line on Integrity, (Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2004) p. 72-73) The point to remember is that these are games whether professional or not they are still games.
Many have the belief that business is a game and profits and personal gain are the score. Many also believe that it is just as ethical to deceive another for personal gain while playing poker as it is to not keep ones word in a business transaction if it leads to personal advantage or gain. Much of the lack of integrity in business stems from the application of competitive gaming ethics to business situations. In business you commonly hear the phrase *It's not personal. It's just business.* Signifying that what they have done is not wrong because competitive games ethical should be apply to business and not personal moral ethics.
Competitive gaming ethics should not be applied to business. The same morals that guide personal life should guide every aspect of life including business. God did not create 10 commandment for personal life and 10 different commandments for business life. You can achieve financial success in business by applying competitive gaming ethics but by so doing you will most likely violate personal morals. Consider the following 5 choices.
Deception vs. Honesty
In the past several years, we have seen the devastating effects of dishonest business from companies such as Enron, WorldCom, Xerox, Qwest, Tyco, ImClone, Anderson and others. Through their competitive gaming ethics, they fraudulently were able to gain short term profits, but, in the end lost everything. Honesty is a key to long term true success.
Profit First vs. Integrity First
Donald Trump is an example of running a business with competitive gaming ethics. He wrote, *Business is about making money. It's about the bottom line. I*m often surprised by people [who]* come in with lofty ideas and philanthropic purposes that have absolutely no place in a business meeting. It's a waste of everyone's time.* (Donald Trump, *The Bottom Line*Your Guideline,* Inside Trump Tower Newsletter, Issue 14:It's Not Personal, It's Business, August 30, 2005) With this view, business would not be directed or founded on integrity.
In contrast consider the Omni Hotel's decision to not sell pornography. In 1996, hotel guest's nation wide spent over $175 million watching in room *adult* movies. Omni's decision not to offer *adult* movie will cost the chain $4 million a year. However, that's not the point, according to Omni VP of Marketing Peter Strebel. *Money is not the issue in this matter,* he said. *Not all business decisions should be fiscally driven. We believe that this is the right thing to do.** (American Family Association, *Omni Hotels Drop In-Room Porn,* AFA Journal, January 2000: Volume 24, Issue 1)
Is It Legal? vs. Is It Right?
Many companies use the defense that *It is legal* to justify unethical business practices. When ending relations with a business who failed to pay as agreed, I received a call from the law firm who represented the company saying, *I have review the information and legally my client does not have to pay you.* I responded, *There is a big difference between what is legal and what is right.* It is important to remember that laws are to protect personal rights not to measure ethics against.
Best for Me/Shrewd vs. Mutually Beneficial/Fair
According to competitive gaming ethics, whatever you can get is okay. The more you can squeeze out of employees and customers the better. This would be ethical and considered good business. Many practices which are reported as shrewd are really unethical and dishonest. There are many companies who, at the expense of others, may turn great profits. However, they also forfeit their own integrity. Taking advantage of others is artificial success.
Win vs. Serve
Under competitive gaming ethics, the only goal is to win. A former general manager of an NBA franchise said *All we reward is winning. We don*t reward people who have high values, integrity or character.* This attitude is readily seen in the NBA as players more frequently are fined and suspended for bad behavior. A business honestly serving others will always have business and all involved will win.
The next time competitive gaming ethics are brought into the board room, blow the whistle and throw the penalty flag because people and family are most likely going to be injured. True success is using personal moral ethics in business. Being personal is good business.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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