Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's not 'Just Business" that's BAD BEHAVIOR

It’s happened to me... I wonder if it’s happened to you? You are sat with a friend in a coffee shop and over your double latte whatever, they start to tell you of something they or someone else has done at work.

A piece of skulduggery that is so evil, planned and underhanded it leaves you breathless and wondering if there is a knife about to be plunged between YOUR shoulder blades. Your friend concludes the story with a ‘but that’s just business’ as though that makes the behavior justifiable.

Your friend then watches you closely, gauging your reaction. Inside you are repulsed, 'Oh My God.' you think, 'Who are you?' but on the outside what do you do? Do you tell them what you think or do you nod sagely in an understanding way while making a mental note to tread carefully or even cut that individual from your life?

Maybe you agree, that ‘just business’ justifies behavior that would get a two year old on the naughty chair or a teen grounded for life.

I think it might be an idea to look at business. Is it a means to an end or a social function?

If it’s a means to an end in an of itself, then that begs the question what is the end? Global domination by one company? Is that where we are heading. And what about people? Will we all be employed by the same organization? What if you were fired or decided to leave where else would you go? What would your life become? And if it was the only company wouldn’t it follow that it would also govern? A scary thought. But surely that’s what the monopoly and merger laws are trying to prevent.

So what if business is a social function? A way for people to connect, find meaning in their lives and develop a way of life? It sounds a bit obvious but if there were no people there would be no business.

Personally I believe that business is the fuel of our lives; the self-expression, a way to support us, achieve our dreams and I for one am passionate about it.

As a business leader and an executive coach who works with entrepreneurs and emerging leaders daily I can affirm that many people agree with me.

When an entrepreneur starts a business they generally look to bring the best of themselves into their vision and use their entire self to do that. The good business practices they have experienced they adopt, the bad they typically run screaming from in the opposite direction. That bad manager they had becomes the thing to avoid at all costs

Business to me and a lot of other business people does not excuse psychopathic or sociopathic behavior. There is another way to do business and it starts with one person.... you!

Yes you. You have the ability to connect to who you are, your passion, your core values and your own set of beliefs and ethics; and you have the power to share them with the world.

When someone says ‘well that’s just business’ they are usually justifying behavior they themselves find questionable. They are looking for your approval, or justification.

So are you willing to give it? And if not, what do you plan to say the next time you hear a friend or colleague say ‘well that’s just business'?

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