Maturity, responsibility and morality: Choices in business and marketing

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Tsjolotjo
Tsjolotjo, Zimbabwe, the place where I unlocked morality mysteries on Good Friday, 1980
wolf of wall street poster
The story of Jordan Belfort (Wolf of Wall Street) show the boundaries of business ethics aren’t always perfect. Con-games certainly succeed for a time (and some may argue the best cons have yet to be uncovered.)

How often do we encounter decisions and choices where we need to test qualities beyond the conventional business metrics? Lead conversion, profit and bottom-line stuff ultimately have great importance — we cannot remain in business without good numbers — but I think many times we forget that, unless we are con-artists, our underlying values and character count for much more than anything else in determining success.

Tsjolotjo
Tsjolotjo, Zimbabwe, the place where I unlocked morality mysteries on Good Friday, 1980

(Wait, you say, how can this assertion be true: Sleazy businesses do well, psychopaths find their way into the executive suite, and crooks often sail through life — making small (or large) fortunes along the way. And who in business really has squeaky-clean ethics.)

The answer to my original question — and to that rather negative counter-point — is that much of successful business bases its strength on sustainable, recurring and healthy relationships, between employees, suppliers and, of course, clients. Sure, you can use psychological science to manipulate and trick people (you just have to look at how long Bernie Madoff stayed in business before things fell apart) but in the end, if you earn your trust genuinely, you’ll maintain your brand, retain your best employees and discover new opportunities without stress.

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