Business ethics means that I’m a competitive guy and I like to win, but never at the expense of someone else. Unfortunately, there are those people who believe that in order for them to win, someone else has to lose (zero-sum). It’s based on a belief in Scarcity – resources are limited so we won’t share, that’s win-lose and it’s the basis behind greed and unethical behavior (poor choices, negative outcomes, and fear). In Abundance – resources are limitless so we can all share, that’s win-win and it’s the basis behind ethical behavior (wise choices, positive outcomes, and gratitude). With the resources available, zero-sum (greed) is unnecessary – Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of Zero-sum: of, relating to, or being a situation in which a gain for one side entails a corresponding loss for the other side.
I’m writing about this because as a small business, I often work with other small businesses. We compete for jobs but we join forces when a job is larger than one business can handle. We promote our businesses but work with other competitors to grow our facilitation industry (see my “Facilitation Masters Conversation Series” videos). We advertise what we, as individual businesses, have to offer. We don’t steal other’s accomplishments to promote our own business and/or to win a job. We have to represent ourselves honorably. There is nothing honorable about winning when false, misleading information is promoted.
When a competitor wants to “destroy the competition”, they view the world as zero-sum. For instance, one of my competitors:
- Uses and tags my name, “Gary Rush”, to benefit their business. The only business that I’m associated with is – MGR Consulting, Inc.
- Takes credit for my 30+ years of accomplishments. I’m the only one who created FAST Facilitation and FoCuSeD™
- Claims to have been in business longer than fact. I’m the only one who founded MG Rush Systems, Inc. in 1985 and renamed it MGR Consulting, Inc. in 2005.
We live in a world of abundance so there’s enough for all – no need for greed. Small entrepreneurial businesses today and tomorrow need to work and collaborate with each other to grow their industry so that everyone benefits.
Ethical businesses win through good work. Unethical businesses win through misleading and deceit. Ethical business is not about “destroying the competition” (win-lose). Zero-sum (Greedy/Scarcity) ultimately becomes lose-lose whereas Positive-sum (Sharing/Abundance) is always win-win.