Ethics in business

There is only one thing in business that makes me really angry, when people lack ethics. It makes me furious.

In it’s essence business is about relationships and people. I love the dynamics on the road to a great business opportunity …or a failed one. I love the hard discussions, the joy, the challenges, the happiness etc. I just love it. As a friend wrote in an e-mail this week.

If it would be easy everyone would do it

As long as you have your ethics in order I love to argue, laugh and have lots of fun with whomever it is that I do business with, but if you do not have ethics, I get really angry.
I have unfortunately done business with people who lack ethics two times during my career. The first time was 2009 and the second time just recently. It made me really angry both times and I will probably never forgive any of the two individuals.

Both of the occasions boiled down to what the cost is to gain personal success, yes personal, not a company or product success, personal. This is were the ethics comes into play. I understand that many are into business for the money and that many achieve success by not being nice. I hate it, but it angers me more when it is entrepreneurs and startups involved. It does not bother me that much when a individual stock-broker tricks the system and in un-ethical ways fills his personal account with billions of dollars, but when individuals who have put everything at risk to join a startup or have invested time and money into it get hurt, I get pissed.

As a startup founder this often comes down to responsibility, communication and priorities.

…and let’s never forget that even if a great founder is needed and that a founder / CEO often need to push his agenda, he depends on his team and the board (who represents the investors) to go through with his vision and execution. It will not happen without having those in the same boat. If you as a founder don’t succeed with this, the company will fail in the long-run.

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