Character, Not Cash, Is King

Ethics in Business

Ethics in Business

Resourcestable loves entrepreneurs. They create the organizations that change people and change lives. They frequently embody the very best of what the country seeks and sees in itself. Resourcestable is passionate and committed to providing entrepreneurs and small business owners the best products and services in helping them grow their enterprises. And we aim to help committed people achieve this as quickly as possible. Never before has business and commerce moved faster than what we witness today. Time is of the essence every day. Technology has helped small businesses move at lightning speed. We see these trends only accelerating in the years to come.

With this as a back-drop, it probably goes without saying that launching a business in today’s environment requires a level of flexibility and nimbleness that tests the best of us. Business people frequently lack the time for serious reflection, and often lose their way along the line somewhere. We believe that this is one of several factors that have led to the very serious problems we face today as manifested in corporate scandals, accounting irregularities, corporate chieftain malfeasance, and undisclosed conflicts of interest.

In our businesses, we often see circumstances in which a deal or opportunity appears very attractive on several of the traditional “objective” metrics (ROI, IRR, Leveraged Yield, etc.). Some promise healthy returns in relatively short order. Making a buck is what we all in business seek to achieve, right? While many of us are trying to build enduring, great businesses and build wealth and flexibility, it is easy to forget that while attaining all of the “hard skills” are critical, frequently the most difficult thing to attain is doing business with the right people. By that, we mean people that act honorably and with integrity regardless of circumstance. People that are honest (and sometimes brutally so). People that are trustworthy. People that do what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it. People that are transparent.   These are the old-fashioned qualities that have more relevance today, even in an age of rapid technological advance, than ever before.

We shake our heads on a regular basis at the number of business opportunities that we see that simply do not pass the “smell test.” The people in a business transaction are at the heart of this. Yes, every deal and every business alliance have to make sense on a financial basis. The profit motive is at the very center of the capitalist system. But do not forget the importance of getting the people side right. Doing business with shady characters will eventually catch up with you – even ones that have obvious skills or backgrounds. It might not be on the first deal, but eventually they will get you. Surround yourself with the best people, not just the smartest ones. Take the extra time to evaluate the people in your professional and personal life to make sure you are soaring with the eagles, and not scratching around on the ground with the turkeys. While speed and innovation are differentiators in today’s marketplace, make sure to surround yourself with high character people. Most importantly, be that person yourself. Over the long haul, nothing is more important. You will sleep well at night – and don’t we all need more of that?