Business Ethics: A Few Words of Wisdom from Steve Forbes
I read an interesting article, “Publisher Forbes to Talk About Business Ethics”, in the Florida Naples Daily News by Laura Layden today. Layden interviewed Steve Forbes Jr., chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media prior to his visit in March to deliver a speech at the “Profiles in Ethical Leadership” event at Ava Maria Law School in Florida.
Here are a few highlights of the interview related to the ‘trust factor’ and the ‘Drucker rule” as it relates to business ethics, particularly your business’s mission and the role of good leaders.
While the world of publishing has changed since his grandfather started the business in 1917, the business has stayed on course with its mission. He reports that “the guiding light for the business has been to provide its viewers and readers with information and insights they need to move ahead and live well.” I see Forbes’s focus like the current marketing trends: to provide personalized user experiences, to create customer-driven quality content that addresses the customer’s needs, lifestyles, fears, and dreams. Your products and services must consistently reflect your brand value and mission.
Why is the ‘trust factor’ so important in business?
Why is the ‘trust factor’ so important in business? According to Forbes, there is no better time than now to address ethical leadership. “There is less trust in government…in financial institutions…in the economic system…and in the educational system. That lack of trust, the integrity of money, is important because in so many ways the capitalist system runs on trust.” He further says, “Forbes as a company had a belief in what’s now known as entrepreneurial capitalism or private capital investing in private start-ups.” Define the purpose of your business. Live the mission. Focus on building trust and leadership
Forbes mentions 3 characteristics that define a great leader: a defined sense of direction, a trust in their people and the strength to move forward by making difficult decisions, even when they are not popular. The marketplace is ever changing, so good leaders need a “wider sense of concern and responsibility, rather than focusing so much on themselves, and they need a long-term perspective, instead of just considering the present and “what’s in it for me.”
As business owners, we lead by example. Directing a wider focus towards others needs, taking responsibility to produce or provide quality services and following your goals and purpose can make us better leaders in all aspects of our lives.
How does the ‘Drucker rule’ apply to help a business move forward?
Peter Drucker was a management guru who believed that every organization should ask itself: “What is our purpose, what is our mission, what is it we are trying to do?” Forbes suggests that if you follow Drucker’s rule you will stay the course and while the “roads themselves may change, you still have a sense of where you are going.”
Comment below, and tell us your thoughts!