By Jeff Havens
Business ethics are usually boring. I know that when you read the word ‘ethics,’ a little tiny piece of your soul dies. “Why do people always want me to be ethical?” I can hear you shouting. “Why can’t I just do whatever I want and plunder the world like my Vikings ancestors of yore?” Well you can if you want, but I would argue that the Vikings went extinct precisely because they were so unethical. (Although their beards are certainly coming back into fashion.)
More importantly, here are six reasons you should consider focusing some of your energy on improving your ethical footprint.
1. Consumers are willing to pay more for products created ethically – Have you seen the prices for ethically-produced food and soap and detergent and hair extensions? They’re crazy high! And people are happily paying for them. So be more ethical and you can steal more of their money. How’s that for a great reason to be ethical!
2. There’s nowhere to hide – The stupid Internet has made it virtually impossible to get away with anything anymore. I mean, those Google people walk down our streets with 98 cameras strapped to their backs. Do you really think you’re not going to get found out?
3. Strong ethics builds consumer trust – Which in turn causes them to give you more of their money. Machiavelli would be so proud of me right now!
4. Being upfront about mistakes and problems makes for stronger business relationships – Or you can hide everything from everyone until you can’t anymore and your carefully constructed house of cards exploded into little card bits. That’s what Enron did. So if you simply love courtrooms, skip this one.
5. Millennials love this stuff – Those crazy millennials with their weird idealism and desire to improve the world. They’re obviously delusional, but they do have a lot of money to spend…
6. Prison food is not as good as it looks – And it doesn’t really look all that good to begin with.
See? That wasn’t so painful, was it? Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go set a shining example for the rest of the world. I think I’m going to start by returning this wallet I just found, if for no other reason than because it had no money in it and credit card companies have gotten really good at fraud detection.
Jeff Havens is a keynote speaker and corporate trainer who addresses leadership, generational issues and other areas of professional development through a unique blend of content and entertainment. He has been a regular guest on Fox Business News and featured on CNBC, Businessweek and Bloomberg News. To read more from Jeff Havens, visit Jeffhavens.com