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Thread: Business Ethics

  1. #1
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Business Ethics

    I would like to get the member's views on this quote from EntrepreneursNewsletter:
    When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.
    - Donald Trump -

    I personally think that this is the worst business advice I have ever seen published. Business is about networking and building relationships. A soft word can sometimes have more effect than being rude and brutal. As far as I know, nobody likes Donald Trump, because of his brutal attitude. He is only tolerated by those who can gain from the relationship.

    My advice: Do not be arrogant and rude to people when on your way up, you usually meet the same people on your way down...
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Depends whether this is a philosophical statement or whether the statement is to be taken literally. Yes, if it is to be taken literally then it is problematic. On the other hand, if it is to be taken philosophically then it is true.

    One can fight back, be brutal and tough whilst being civil and nice (women are especially good at it, they don't need to shout, swear and fight to be tough)

    I think that Donald Trump sees himself as the ultimate Alpha male who protects his turf at all costs.

    I agree that one has to build relationships etc. but I also think that it should be done with your own wellbeing in mind.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    I don't believe in being rude, but I do believe in standing up for what you believe in, business wise. Funny that you started this thread, as I'm at a bit of a crossroads myself which has reference to your thread.

    Client is making it a habit of paying me late, even though I have done my part of the servicing on time. So I need to decide...

    Do I take a stand and inform them that this can't happen again otherwise we'll have to terminate the relationship

    Or

    Do I keep quiet, and accept being paid late every month, but keeping the client.

    I believe in informing the client in a firm yet professional manner, that there was an agreement we decided upon when the relationship started, and that they need to uphold their end of the deal. But yes, I am stressing about informing them, due to the fact that the client could get upset and terminate the contract. It's one of my biggest clients, which makes it worse.

    My point: Take a stand, PROFESSIONALY. Do not get rude or personal. 12 yr old children do that, not adults.

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    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
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    I agree that one should be courteous to everyone you meet and deal with. I try to make a habit of treating even cleaners with the same respect that I'd treat a CEO with. By building relationships, you can open a lot of doors - sometimes in unexpected places.

    As I see it, however, Mr. Trump's quote is not about being rude, unethical or being a jerk in general, especially since he refers to someone 'challenging' you. I think that he refers to not being a pushover - taking a firm stand. Personally, I think that is necessary, especially in South Africa. Looking at things like corruption, there won't be much hope for us if we don't take a firm stand.
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

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    whos advice would you follow...blurock or trump?

    in 20 years of bussiness i have had more people who have never run a company in their lives give me advice than people who have...i have learnt to watch the successful people and do what they do...it depends what you want out of being a bussiness.

    if you want to get places and become a big company...turning over millions/billions...best you take some tips from donald trump.

    if you just want to be a one man bussiness with a couple of employees...word of mouth is gona be the make or break of your company...best you be nice to people.

    think about it mtn...vodocom...etc...are they nice to you?
    is their service great?
    yet they are literallt printing money.
    banks are they nice to you?
    stanadrd bank has lent out more than 50 billion rand in loans...just think of the returns...and as the economy took a dip...that R115 they hit you with for each returned debit order or late payment did they say are shame we wont charge you for that.

    how big is your bussiness in coamparison to th trumps or cellphone companies or banks.

  6. #6
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    The size of the business may be the point. If you have deep pockets you can afford to offend, such as most of the big corporates do. You can employ lawyers etc to fight or just niggle an opponent. If you are a small business like most of the Forum members are, you can not afford to make enemies. Most of the time you can not even afford litigation against a bad debtor.

    I agree that the rules should be applied where you have a contract or agreement. E.g. do not allow late payments, however big the client is. Be firm, but civil. If the rules say that you pay for a returned debit order, that's the rule. Accept it.

    Being firm builds respect, but being a bully breeds discontempt.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    I have to agree with Rfnel. Being brutal or tough is absolutely not the same as being rude.

    Look at Andrew_ZA’s issue: he has a customer who does not pay in time. He can be very nice and gentile, but this will probably not make the customer pay in time. It would probably more effective to send out a tough message to the customer, stating this kind of behavior is not acceptable. But this should be done without being rude or loss of respect.

    And Murdock has a good point: Just by looking at the amount of success of Trump you might consider his tips worthwhile. No need to have deep pockets or lawyers to take a stand, as long as there is not rudeness or offensive behavior involved.

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    Email problem mother's Avatar
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    Trump's quote is one of those statements you have to make your own. You attribute the meaning that suits you to the words in there. So for some people it will mean "don't be a push-over", because they should grow a spine. For others it will mean "be less nice", becasue they try too hard to please others. It could even mean "persevere, don't give up" or "stand up for what you believe in", or perhaps "proceed with passion, not caution".

    Personally, I think it's a very clever quote. If you think about it metaphorically, you'll see that it DOES actually speak to an issue in your life.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    When given the right toys, kids can play themselves clever.
    WII, Nintendo DS, XBox, Playstation 3, Blackberry, Facebook, Twitter, IPOD, Iphone, SMS, MMS, MxIt...

    Ok, just messing with you.

    My girls do Mathletics every day and they have to pass a test every week. Both my girls are seriously good with mental arithmetic.

    To get back to "The Donald" - I agree with him - Life is a chess game - you win or you lose!
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.
    - Donald Trump -
    Reading that, I can't help bearing in mind that Donald Trump has an ego the size of Trump Towers, or maybe even all the Trump buildings piled up on top of each other.

    I come more from the "Art of war" school, so my view on the quote is "Pick your fights really carefully." I certainly wouldn't get into a fight simply because someone "challenged" me.

    The way I see it (bearing in mind mother's angle here), I don't find a direct correlation with business ethics though. Maybe if you get into the fight for the wrong reasons, ethics will become an issue - but if you pick your fights wisely, maintaining good business ethics should rarely be an obstacle - at least in a society where discovered unethical conduct is frowned on.

    I do wonder a bit what the future might be for the honest and ethical in SA on current trends.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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