Business Ethics – HONESTY…Does it still exist?

Posted on October 19, 2012 by Colin Funk

Business Ethics – Relative Honesty

Webster’s dictionary defines honesty as…2 a: FAIRNESS and straightforwardness of CONDUCT, b: adherence to the FACTS : sincerity

As I pondered this definition it struck me that today a lot of people include another word into the definition

of honesty…RELATIVE…relative honesty…honesty that can change depending on the circumstances.  This is an oxymoron isn’t it?  Honesty is pretty clear cut…it is the unequivocal truth about a set of facts…it is fairness, proper conduct (even when no one is looking) & sincerity…if the facts don’t change then how could the honest truth change?

Business Ethics – Bad End of a Business Deal

I bet that you have been at the bad end of a business deal that was influenced by “relative” honesty and I bet you stood there shaking your head going…what just happened?  I know I have!  But I also bet that you learned something about that situation…mainly that you vowed to not be like that person…to always be honest in business dealings even if the outcome does not go in your favor.  Oh we will all try to “negotiate” our way out of a bad situation but when it is check, game, match we accept the outcome and move on…but remembering that we will not do unto others as we had done unto us.  I truly believe that if business owners conducted honest business dealings we would see an economic benefit.  Think of all the time and money we waste trying to mitigate non-honest deals.  If that time were invested in growing your business where would it be today?  Time is a precious commodity…the only one I know that has a certain amount that cannot be replenished.  We need to invest it wisely in honest business dealings so that not only will our own businesses grow and be successful so will others and the economy as a whole.

I bet that you feel the same way…I would love to hear your thoughts.  As a Partner in B2B CFO® serving the Modesto, Stockton, Fresno and greater central valley area I have a professional responsibility to always be honest…even when the “cards” are not in my favor…modeling the first of my firms 3 core values.  Do unto others as I would have them do unto me…cliché…maybe but what does it cost to run a business this way…I see all upside and no downside.

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