Ethical Entrepreneurship

There’s the co-founder preaching integrity & trust, yet running for the hills at the first sign of a significant challenge. There’s the entrepreneur committing equity to lure key talent, yet leaving them empty handed in the moment of truth when the company goes public for significant millions. There’s the one who preaches team spirit and shared company values / benefits, yet insists on factory workers instead of happy people, and then justifies her actions under the guise of accountability. And finally, there’s those infamous carve-out clauses that leave partners watching sand run through their fingers whilst others take their money to the bank.

Your actions speak so loud that I can’t even hear what you’re saying is my paradigm to the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”.

After +26 in the business world all across the planet, I’ve seen my fare share of varying stances on both business & personal ethics, and above is only a small sampling. So when during the past weeks I witnessed an entrepreneur being authentic and ethical in his actions, I felt compelled to share it with the world.

In the middle of a momentary financial crisis he openly communicates to his team the challenges he’s facing, taking full responsibility without excuses and apologizing for the impact of a temporary lack of funds. He follows by extending his personal finances to cover emergency individual needs until the brief storm passes. In the coming weeks, he’s authentic in his individual approach to his team, ensuring they’re not incurring hardships until the momentary financial challenge is overcome. “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying”, and I want to scream it from the roof tops.

It’s my experience that people who act ethically are 1 in ever five (at best). It’s sad, yet a painfully real statistic. Most because they just haven’t found an authentic or ethical way to express their passion or purpose, especially when faced with difficult circumstances. Some because they simply haven’t found themselves, and act based on their fears, instead of coming from a place of generosity.

How closely aligned are your actions to your speech? What are you willing to do to take your game to the next level? Better yet, can you recall the last time you stepped up to the plate and acted in-line with your stated intentions?

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