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.