Should I separate my personal and professional values?
If a business or organization asked me for web and reputation services should I deny to work with them if I do not personally agree with what they do? Example: I don't believe in their business practices or the credibility of their product. On the other hand, I am running a business and need work to keep growing my business.
I think you should stay away. Else you will be faking yourself all the time. You can do well when you have an emotional connect with what you do, believe in and stand for. The professional you are to a large extent is the real person you are. Your core values determine what kind of a leader/professional you will become and if you start living two lives at the same time like Jekyl & Hyde, you will cause yourself undue stress that will eventually adversely impact pofessional and peronal life, quite possibly a breakdown as well.
In my eyes, personal and professional values go together - only if you believe in what you do, you can do your best for the client and for the company. If your heart is not in it, this will be reflected in the result and can ultimately hurt your business.
I will join the chorus and say they are the same and you should diplomatically walk away. I think I would have the courage to do so. I hope so.
I will also observe that this group and myself are probably in the minority in a progressive society. What if the issue were religious or any of the politically correctness issues of our day where our government steps in and demands that we separate our personal beliefs from our actions?.
Unfortunately, as the owner of your business, you must be discrete. Otherwise you don't get to choose who you work with or for.
Joseph, in the sort of situation you used as an example I would not do business with them. Yes, you need to grow your business but getting involved with people who are following questionable practices will give you a bad reputation and quite likely destroy your business. You do not want to gain a reputation for unethical practices or for promoting unreliable or flat out shoddy products(whether those products are material products or service oriented doesn't matter). Just my two cents.
I would say no. It might not matter for them, but for your own future, do you want to work on developing relationships with people who add to your own integrity or take away from it?
Not unless you feel that your own brand image will look extremely affiliated by your accepting the work. An example might be theming a website for someone and leaving links etc. That could potentially look like endorsement but otherwise most of the time it would never be an issue. Ideally if you sold tires for example, nobody would think twice about who you sell them to. With reputation service you can potentially sell what does share your brands values and take some of the focus away from what doesn't.
The fact that you are asking the question, indicates to me that you have some misgivings already. One question: Will the reputation of your own business be negatively impacted if you contract with that company as a client? I personally do not believe in compromising personal values for the sake of getting business. However, that is my personal opinion.
If you are serving a company that you do not believe in their credibility, is it worth it to sacrifice your personal values for that. Watch the webcast "Ethics and Leadership: A Fine Line Between Morality and the Law" January 13th at 2pm CT/3pm ET and I think you will find the answer to your question. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVtmygBsyKE
You need to decide what your business mission and values are from the start.
If this means you don't work with businesses which do not share them, then no you shouldn't. Probity and honesty is paramount when developing long standing relationships and taking a sound moral approach to your work will lead to greater success in the long term.
yep they are one in the same and I guess one of the benefits of having your own business is you get to choose who you do business with
Depends on the quality of the malpractices and credibility of the company and products. If they are outright wrong, obviously it will hurt my work, so there is no point doing that business.
I am hunger, I wanted to eat.
But another me says, let's eat after finish work.
Still there pop up another me doesn't want to eat as I want to slim down.
Now, which "me" is the real "me"? and which "me" will do the final say?
I would say all the "me(s)" are real me in certain way but not me in somewhere. I am I when the "me(s)" are look at collective manner.
How the business perceives solely depend on the personal quality of the business head (you for this case). The needs of separating these two things surface the intention to deceive and will bring values conflict in future unnecessarily.
My suggestion is "always work using your own values - no separation to business", one of a minimum requirements to achieve endurable success.
Joseph, your personal and business values are coming from the same place- YOU! Ask yourself this question: Am I willing to stand behind the work I do for this company? If the answer is yes then you are able to objectively deliver the goods (and do a good job of it). If the answer is no then you cannot separate your values from the task (in which case there is the real risk the delivered goods will not be up to your standards.
Good afternoon Joseph,
We have reached a point in time that everything that we do will be able to be researched on line by future generations. (I joke all the time that I am glad they did not have FB while I was growing up)
It can take but a few minutes to hurt your on line reputation and years to repair it. I have found that usually when a question like this is posed the person is a Christian. Unless you have received a very clear calling to work with this company I would not do it.
When I started working for myself I fell into the trap of being available to anyone. I learned this year that I need to make a commitment to myself to reach certain goals. It is now easier to say no, I am sorry but I have made other commitments and I cannot help you with that at this point in time. Maybe something like that would be helpful for you as well. (The commitment is to my Lord, myself and my family)
Do yourself a favor and stick to your values! You will be rewarded!
Add to those comments...As Jack Nicklaus states: "Any business relationship must work well from both a personal and financial standpoint...The example you gave does not appear to be the case...You should try to maintain a consistency of expectations and ethical conduct...It is always lonely at the top where these decisions are made...
What what it's worth I tend to agree with the general consensus here: if you don't believe in the business or their product, then don't take the gig.
One of the rules that I put in place when I started our company in 2008 was "never work with a**holes" (!!). It's something that all of us fervently still believe in. Even today we probably turn down 2-3 clients a month.
I totally get where you're coming from, and I've been where you are now - it's tough to turn away business. However integrity, conscience and reputation are business traits that are more prized today than ever.
Go with your gut - walk away.
Separating your values is very stressful. But before you turn down work, make sure you are dealing with facts and not innuendo if the issue is that you believe the company is unethical. Just like people, there are no perfect companies. But if you think you will need to shower after dealing with the company and/or you will lose sleep, decline the business. Your reputation is sometimes all you have that differentiate you from everyone else.
Yes. At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with clients you serve. Don't be afraid to turn down work to retain your peace of mind.
NO! As the owner of your business one of the benefits is you get to choose who you work with/for! Don't compromise your ethics to make money. If you are new and in the "take anything I can get mode", you need to think of the longer term ramifications of working with someone you feel is unethical...it could come back to bite you. I know it is hard to turn away work, but I highly recommend just that.
I am not sure how anyone could separate their personal and professional values. You are who you and sleeping at night and shaving oneself is a pleasure I believe you will want to keep.
Never! You have to live with yourself and because you are the business owner your personal and professional values should be identical. The question you are really asking is should you sell off a piece of your sole for a few bucks today. I know how hard it is to run your own business as I started mine just over five years ago. I know every dollar matters, especially as a young small business, however not every client/opportunity is worth having regardless of the money. This is much easier for me to say now that I'm successful. I walked away from business for similar reasons early on to this day there is not a month that goes by that I do not reflect on the choice to do so. I find great peace that I didn't accept certain jobs. Just remember you have to live with yourself and five, six, ten years from now will it have been worth selling off a piece of your core beliefs system? I promise, from experience, if you are asking this question today and you choose to take on this client you will regret this for years to come.
Good luck with you decision. Just follow your gut, it's usually right.