Ethics in business – reality or fiction?

The past weeks I accepted a challenging invitation: to spend 2 hours in the presence of 3 great business man, that grew important companies in Romania.

Subject: Ethics in business. A hot subject for nowadays, a subject that rises dozens of questions and leave question marks quite often. We were supposed to have a small break during the session, but people were so excited to find out as more as possible, that we didn’t stop until the end. So, challenging subject, interesting auditorium, bright speakers, all was there for an interesting afternoon.

We’ve learnt about ethics in business as a mandatory ingredient, as a factor that leads to success in most cases, we even approached it from spiritual point of view. Everything that we already knew before, but great to hear the story again, from people that lived so many interesting previous experiences. Everything was great, from the theoretically perspective.

But then we got to the “hard” part, real examples, from real life, questions from the auditorium that were sharply linked to previous experiences from the speaker’s business lives.  Unfortunately those questions were not answered in a direct manner and we weren’t able to extract precious conclusions from those particularlycases.

But still, the important question, the one that created the event that afternoon, was on everybody’s mind, on the mind of all those people that chose to spend 2-3 hours of their lives on this subject. Is ethics part of our business lives, really? And in how many cases? Is ethics stopping us in breaking the human rules, in becoming money slaves?

As we all agreed that evening, ethics starts with the first years spent at home, with the family. It continues with school, that in most cases, unfortunately, encourages individual competition and not team spirit, and it’s ending up in the working environment where, again, in many cases, we find a tough competition between colleagues of the same company.