The Need for Values in Business

The Need for Values in Business

We have many choices in today’s society, freedom in that respect is full. The difficulty though is in making the right choices, the right decisions. The basis of our decisions is strongly influences by our values i.e. that which we hold to be dear, what we believe will bring us greater happiness, peace and fulfilment. Values prompt our desires which in turn results in actions to attain the object of our desire. For example, one of the main human desires is for happiness. If you believe that having money will make you happy, then one of your prime values will be wealth and you are likely to base your decisions involving money on how to maximise my return.

In today’s materialistic oriented world the key values seem to be Wealth, Power, Fame and Pleasure. The mistaken belief is that by achieving these in large quantity, then the result will be happiness. While these values are not inherently wrong what has happened is that we have gone to excess, not knowing when to stop, what is enough. The actual result is a high degree of stress and tension in our society. 

In the business community short term financial results for ME is the key motive for many. This blind obsession with wealth is best exemplified by the poor example being set by business leaders. In a recent Sunday Times article it was quoted that the typical FTSE 100 CEO now rakes in £4,500,000 a year which is 170 times the average earning and more than 400 times the earnings of someone on the national living wage. 'Everyone is doing it' becomes the justification.

A further negative aspect of the business leader’s behaviour is that they only stay in their position for an average of 3-4 years, hardly the kind of commitment which would encourage effective long-range planning. Maximise short term gains is the most likely strategy.

Natural human values like honesty, courage and patience which are common to all cultures  can act as our moral compass for decisions in business and in life. The Ethical Entrepreneur core content shows how the application of 30 key values in the performance of 9 core management functions, embracing various aspects of how we think, relate to others and act in running a business. Living the natural values leads naturally to the manifestation of what are known as business values like credibility, stability and efficiency. These in turn are the keys for establishing and maintaining a sustainable, responsible and profitable business. 

What the world of business needs now are capable, responsible entrepreneurs, self-employed  people and managers of small and medium sized firms, who by their honest, caring and decisive actions will set a positive example for the entire business community. Such actions will help change the model that has become the norm and there will naturally be more respect and reverence offered to leaders who serve with genuine humility as opposed to those narcissistic leaders who focus primarily on short term results for me. The new model will mean more WE than ME in business.