Running a business with a high degree of ethics will create a legacy, will honor your family, and honor God. By Octavian Msongamwanja #000148
Ethics in Business
By Octavian Msongamwanja
My name is Octavian Msongamwanja and I’m very happy to be here at the Inspiring Better Business offices. And, it’s a great joy for me to be here today, and I’m very thankful for Mr. Gary Shotton for giving me this opportunity to share, you know, a bit about what I think it is very important in the world of business. And this is the importance of, you know, ethics in business. This is a very key because these ethics, these are moral principles that governs our, your, one’s behavior, you know, your personal behavior, your conducts. And this is very key and especially in developing world are in developed world this has been a very key because some companies have been going out of business because they’ve been experiencing some of them allowed themselves to do some ethical to involve themselves with unethical issues and that the results of that when it was discovered they went out of business.
And you don’t want your business to be at that point, but also even if you are a start-up you’re starting a business, you have a small business, to be ethical is very key because when you are ethical or when you are unashamedly ethical that will help you to will provide you with a competitive advantage because if everybody is corrupt or if everybody you know that they cook their books of accounts so that they look good on the investors or the bank or the people that, you know, they are hoping to take those books to get the funding then for you just tell whoever that you know you want to work with or whoever the partner that you want to come partner with you. Maybe in terms of finances or any other means you are true to it, and you’re telling them this is my situation and this is my vision. This is how I think this thing will be beneficial to you to us and you need to be clean from the word go. From the beginning. Because the importance of that or the benefit of that you create a legacy because when you don’t want just to start a business that will end with you or You create a business that the only benefit, it only benefits you.
Because once you create a business, businesses create jobs and you want you know your business to impact the people that work under you. You know, you want those people to enjoy working with you and one of the things that will create or will enhance for example employee retention is if you as a management as a founder You’re ethically you are unashamedly ethical because that will promote that culture from you know top down and people are the boss of always the employees always are willing to report you know Misconduct, but that will depend with whether the top management is willing to accept that and to support that culture. So, it is very important for either company or if you are an individual the people that you’re working with make sure that you cultivate that culture of being unashamedly ethical and you promote it and you encourage it so our people are willing to report anything like that.
This guy you’re partnering with this guy is not good, and you should be able to be positive about it and should be able to take action towards it so that because when people report something and you don’t do anything about it. Most of the time they will think like you know you ignored them and that’s where now you find out like if it is a big company an employee will go outside and report it. That would even you know put you’re the image of your company, bad cut you know you don’t want that things to go overboard. But also, as soon as they bring it to you as a manager or the business founder or as a friend make sure that you take action. And then you make sure that you address it. If you do reports or anything make sure that you put it in the report for this month on this quarter this happened and this is how we addressed it and that will encourage more people to take ownership of the business and also to support it. Because for example, in America, there’s one of the company that I have read. It’s called Enron.
I believe I said it right and this company many people, I think if I’m not wrong, a lot of people thousands of people lost a job because of few people, few individuals who were, you know, unethical. They cooked the books of accounts and they showed like you know they’re making profit where actually they were not and the results of that thousands of people, lots of lost their jobs and you know families maybe some people ended up homeless and who know. But because of just few individuals. So I believe when we are ethical this helps us as a company and also it serves us fine. It’s like this Enron it went out of business completely. But if I believe if there were a team taking in maybe the individuals who are reporting it if there are any then definitely, maybe Enron would be in business even today. But because no one took care of it they just you know thinking about themselves.
Actually reminded of what one guy in Kenya who used to be the chairman of the head of Kenya Anti-Corruption, John Githongo said. You know it’s when people especially in Africa when they get into leadership especially political position they say it’s our time to eat. You know that is not as a business person That is like you know you’re creating your what you’re a dead end. You’re not going to be far even though you might be very profitable at the at the short term, but in the long run you run out of business. So make sure from the beginning whether you are startup or be you know you own a big company make sure that in all your conducts you are very you know unashamedly ethical. Why is it important? Because it is the right thing to do, to be ethical. It is the right thing. And sometimes maybe some people might be asked you know some things they can’t be ethical but they you know You can be ethical but some in some other areas you know maybe you might be going contrary to the law. But for example you know that some things like in this country maybe thinking about you know maybe Martin Luther King.
You know at that time people saw him as you know He was unethically he wasn’t ethical but because he stood with for what was right and he was willing to sacrifice his life, so that you know later when people looking back they saw that what he did was good. So that’s the legacy that you know he left. So in business find out you know what are some of the things that you know as a business you want to contribute to the community to the society to the country that your business is in so that your business left leaves the country or the community that you are in a better place than you found it. And that is a way that Your business will go an extra mile that you have never expected because people be willing to support you. People be willing to buy your products because you take care of the environment.
You’re not just dumping you know your whatever your sewage into polluting water in the water sources or any other things. But you take good care of you know your waste and everything. So people will take you know ownership. And we’ll be willing to partner with you as you partner with them. Governments will be willing to support you because they know that you are you know you’re serving them. You’re partnering with them to better you know the economy of the country and you’re creating jobs and many other things. And, above all, you know God has created us to be good stewards of our own lives and of the things that he has given us and we’ll be accountable to him. All our conducts will be accountable to him. Because, I believe I’m a Christian, and I believe the Bible says in whatever you do work at it not to men but to God himself.
So I believe whatever that we do will be accountable to him not to man. I know yes, the business can go under, you can disappear. But still one day you stand before God and will be accountable for our actions. So I want to urge all of us let’s make sure that we do clean business. We do we become unashamedly ethical. It becomes a culture of our business, a culture of our companies, so that way we know that one day even when we stand before God we’ll be able to say, God will be able to tell us well done faithful and a great servant. So I believe that you as a business owner or as a company you take ethics as a very serious thing and you create a culture of unashamedly ethical to every employee as an individual. So that way your company will be able to go far. Thank you very much and I hope you’ll be able to share this with other people. Thank you.
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