Business and social responsibility seem to be worlds apart in society and these quotes on business ethics either showcase that reality or share the fact that not all successful business moguls and tycoons are without a moral compass. Read the following quotes to get an idea of what business ethics are or are not, whether you strive to be your own CEO or are trying to make sense of your position in a corporation.
- “We have to shift our emphasis from economic efficiency and materialism towards a sustainable quality of life and to healing of our society, of our people and our ecological systems.” As one of Australia’s richest women, Janet Holmes may have taken over her husband’s privately owned beef business–the Heytesbury Cattle Company—but did not let hunger for profit take over her consciousness. Unaffected by big business's insatiable appetite for greed, Holmes believes that with great money comes great power and, therefore, great responsibility.
- “If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization.” Inventor Robert Noyce explains that like a row of falling dominos, troubling ethics will spread more troubling ethics, especially if it consists of the business’s prime philosophy. A business built on a fundamental model of morale as well as increasing growth and value will benefit everyone in the end—shareholders, workers and clients or customers alike.
- "If you build that foundation, both the moral and the ethical as well as the business and the experience foundation, then the building won't crumble." Henry Kravis, co-founder of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. understands that business owners and clients benefit mutually if the foundation is based built on a bedrock of morals. Though our current system appears to support the survival of greediness in business, he knows that it won't last very long.
- “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Famous scientist Albert Einstein had plenty of wisdom-filled quotes to share, even when it came down to business and success. By becoming a man of value, you will be become a man of success. Many people, however, appear to go about it the opposite and upend the process by seeking extrinsic instead of intrinsic rewards first.
- “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs is the prime example of a CEO that covers all bases with products in his company. Unlike many things that are all looks and no substance, the co-founder of Apple knows it is not enough for something to have the appearance of a good thing, it must also deliver performance-wise, which is why his enterprise is so famous and well-recieved.