With every new generation comes talk about how things have changed. The old generation is constantly comparing themselves, thinking that they somehow were more honest, more truthful, more trusting. Is it really that overtime we have all become less credulous, less trustworthy, or is it just that the avenues for those who would be less forthcoming has become easier? The answer is that sometimes technology makes the ability to cheat easier, it blurs the lines between right and wrong, and adds temptation where once there was none. If you are a business owner who is still married to being upstanding, you may be trying to convince those within your company the same.
Whatever happened to a handshake?
There was a time when people valued their reputation. A time when all a person had to stand on was their word. Those days seem to have vanished for some, and been replace by the bottom line. Where once you had to stand in face and judgment of those who you may not have treated fair or honestly, now you can hide behind the shield of anonymity, of technology, of the internet. The diffusion of responsibility has become easier when there is no piper to be paid. Finding the easy way has become easier than finding the right way. There are still those of us that believe in the old saying “what goes around comes around”, believing that you should do onto others, but is that going to get you anywhere, or in this age, is that going to kill your ability to succeed?
If you ask most teenagers why they did something wrong, their answer will most likely be “because everyone else was doing it”. That is a hard argument to bunk. If it seems right for some, it should be right for all. The internet has created an atmosphere where trickery and games have won out over doing things on the up and up. So is behaving in scrupulous ways hurting or helping your business. In the end, behaving with honesty and integrity will always win out over cheating. Anyone who knows business knows that once your reputation is tarnished, it is tarnished for good. Like putting a nail in a coffin, if you have lost the trust of your customers, you have lost your ability to operate, you have lost your bottom line.
Teaching your employees to behave as you would
If you want your employees to behave in a manner which is always honest then you have to be very specific to them that cheating, or finding a way to bunk the system, is not only something that you do not want them to do, it is something that will not be tolerated. If there is one thing that is for sure, if you allow one person to do it and get away from it, there will always be more until it becomes common practice. Building a vision of operating on the up and up is how you get every one of your employees to understand that when they make an action they represent you and your company, and the only way you will accept to be represented is with integrity and pride.
Just because you are able to cheat the system with technology, does not mean that you should. There will always be those who are able to use innovation to get ahead either the right way, or in scrupulous ways. If you know them, you also know that it is just a matter of time before they get caught. There is a thing called karma and it is real. It is not important to worry about what anyone else is doing, just worry about how you are operating and how your employees are representing you.
No matter what technology is available to get ahead, using it only the way it is intended and the way which is fair and honest is important to build a business based on all the things you want to stand for. There will always be new technology to outdo the previous one, if you start cheating with one, where do you stop. Where does the end lie?
Photo Credit: Flickr/Aidan Jones