Ethical Behavior in Corporations
Corporate Morality and Values
My late uncle Virender Kapoor, who I called Vinu Mamu, was a pillar of strength and inspiration when it came to living life ethically, with the highest principles and values. He was a student and teacher of the Vedic way of life (Vedas are the holy Hindu scriptures), and worked to apply Vedic values and teachings to all dimensions of his life. Being a successful businessman and life long member of the corporate world, one of his many passions was to see how such values and ethics could be integrated into corporations and how corporate employees and managers could work ethically and morally. Is this possible? Can one, in today’s highly competitive, greedy, power hungry, cut throat corporate environment, be ethical and uphold the highest values, and still survive and prosper? I think so.
Values and ethics are pretty much the same across all religions and are the basic ingredients that go into making up good, decent human beings. So in today’s article, I would like to detail my view of how to be in the corporate world, whether that be Corporate America, Corporate India, or anywhere else, and still uphold the highest standards of goodness and decency. Below are my 4 rules for ethical conduct within a corporation which, if followed by the employees and managers, I feel will help raise the collective consciousness of that environment.
4 Ethical Rules and Values for Corporations:
Corporate Ethics and Values Rule #1:
Always Help Others
So often in corporate and business environments, things are unnecessarily made difficult, frustrating and eventually stressful, because someone who can help, simply refuses to. This could be because they want to get ahead, or because they want you to fail, or simply because they are lazy, but whatever the reason, don’t fall for this lowly behavior.
Always help others, even if it is not in your current job description. Many times you may move within a corporation and your old organization will need your help, do it. Help them. Many times you will have the opportunity to go the extra mile for others, if possible do it. Don’t look for ways to skimp when it comes to this area. In fact, look for ways to help others even when not approached. Be thoughtful and kind.
If someone is new, become their mentor. In life it is important to be there when others need you most. If a colleague is in trouble, that is that time to lend a helping hand, that is not the time to sit back and hope he fails and drowns so you can reduce the competition. Really, make a conscious effort to be there for others.
From a Vedic view, the Law of Karma is at work here. Opportunities to help others are ways to pay back debts that you owe from the past, so grab them and close the loop. You will find life taking care of you much more, as you take care of others much more.
Corporate Ethics and Values – Rule #2:
Be Honest – Don’t Lie
I have written about the value of honesty many times before, and it applies to corporate careers just as much. I understand that in the corporate world there are accepted dishonest behaviors such as, “spin it”, “run interference”, “play politics”, etc, but I still feel honesty is the best policy. Making up fake excuses for issues or being late, pretending to be busy, taking credit for others work and downright lying about things should stop. Just be simple and honest, it will serve you much better.
From a Vedic view, Satya or Truthfulness in one of the most important values to embrace, so don’t let the corporate world bring down your level of being.
You can read more of my thoughts on the importance of honesty in the following articles:
Corporate Ethics and Values – Rule #3:
Fear and greed lie at the root cause for workplace wars. Egos clashing and bashing each other. It is horrible to see. Of course, when it comes to a fight, you think you are right. Guess what, the other person thinks the exact same thing. They have their justifications and arguments, and you probably have yours. Even if you are right, I say it is better to forgive than to fight. You will be crossed many times in life, many times others will do what is unfair to you, you will get angry, that is natural, but see if you can forgive instead of getting into a long drawn conflict.
Again, from a Vedic view, the Law of Karma is at work here, and the scenario is playing out based on previous debts that are owed. So treat it as such, stay relaxed, forgive and live in peace. In addition, conflicts are a great time for spiritual growth, as they give you a chance to watch the ego in action. Such witnessing leads to Self Realization.
There are also many material advantages to this approach, as you will notice that the fewer enemies and more friends you have in the work place, the better it is for your career. There are fewer people trying to sabotage you, and many more trying to help you. And of course, for your peaceful approach, life will shower her blessings upon you too .
This is another topic that is close to my heart and you will find more of my thoughts on this topic in the following 2 articles:
My Simple Rule to a Peaceful Life
Corporate Ethics and Values – Rule #4
Go With the Flow
Here lies the secret to living a special life, being able to go with the flow always. In the corporate world, there is always massive planning and scheming going on. Reorgs happen every other day, specially with the sour economy these days, pay cuts are common, work demands are increased, managers are being flipped like houses were not so long ago, and the general landscape in anything but stable. Relax. Take it easy. See what happens and stop worrying about what has not yet come to pass. Learning to go with the flow is the best way to approach life, and your corporate career.
Many may argue that unless you are super ambitious and aggressive you will not move up the corporate ladder, but I don’t buy into that thinking. You will be successful if you are good at what you do and if you do it well regardless. So being less concerned with your personal security and position, and staying more focused with the work that has to be done is the way to go. And this is part of going with the flow. Doing what needs to done and leaving the rest up to life to determine.
Going with the flow means taking it one day, one challenge at a time and not worrying endlessly about the future. Not only is the future unknown, but we cannot see the big picture either. So it is difficult to know what is best for us, and for this reason it is best to just concentrate on doing what is required and not worry about the results. This approach can be very refreshing and liberating, and can also break the pattern of burning ambition that plagues human consciousness today.
Here are some more thoughts on going with the flow in life:
Corporate Ethics and Values Summary:
If you can adhere to the above ethics, many other corporate evils such as gossiping, cheating, hiding, manipulating, complaining, will be discarded as well. Furthermore, you may be pleasantly surprised by how successful you actually end up being, without ever being greedy for success and power. All change begins with you, and if you can change then the corporate world can change too. As Vinu Mamu used to always say, the golden rule in life is simply Do Good and Be Good, leave the rest to God.