It Takes Courage to Make Business Virtuous
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. Imagine what it must be like to follow someone like Moses and be told to take the Promise Land, and it is going to be a fight. In the business world, we often come up with ethical dilemmas where we have to make virtuous decisions even if costly. That takes courage and strength.
In the DeVoe Report (Spring/Summer 2019, p. 26) in the article Building Virtue from the Ground Up, the authors explore “…how entrepreneurs fused virtuous business principles into the corporate culture of an entrepreneurial venture and the benefits and costs of doing so.” It takes a courageous individual to make business virtuous.
Reading these interviews reminded me of a story of a young manager of a bookstore. This was his first management job. It was Christmas, and the store was selling a new Large Print Family Bible. It was one of their biggest sellers, and the company had spent a lot of money on marketing this special product. One day a customer had returned the Bible with little sticky notes on specific pages. He said that there were missing words. The young manager gave him back his money and notified the company of the defect. At first, there was no action taken on this knowledge. When the young manager pressed the company that it was not right to sell this product in this condition, the company notified the publishing company that sold them the Bibles. They remedied the situation by sending words to be pasted into the blank spaces and the manager. The company wanted the manager to sell the Bible at full price with the words pasted in without comment. Again, the manager pressed the company that they needed, to be honest with their customers. The company decided to sell them at a deep discount and let customers know what happened with the words. They sold all the Bibles and learned a wise lesson about being honest with their customers even though it cost them money. Making business virtuous starts by doing the right thing and reminding the company of its values.
Share an experience where you were in a position or asked to compromise your values.
when I was working as a medical doctor in India, I encountered a situation, where we are treating a patient who was sick and he was undergoing treatment. I monitored the patient daily, the patient went into a critical condition and we had to intubate him, when I informed the condition to their family, the patient’s family agreed to the intubation but were in a situation where they couldn’t afford it.
their healthcare plan doesn’t allow for the suggested treatment, the hospital management was so adamant and did not allow us to treat the patient, this a situation where I compromised my core values [compassion, patient service]. the family was able to get the funds on time, and we treated the patient and he was successfully cured.