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Berkonomics

Good hearts finish first.

People argue over whether an entrepreneur with a sense of fairness, a desire for collegiality, a want to share the profits can succeed in the long run within a business world full of lions and tigers that eat timid entrepreneurs for lunch.

First, let’s separate the “good heart” from the issue of whether an entrepreneur is driven to succeed. A sense of values that allows for sharing and fairness is not at odds with a ‘type A’ entrepreneur driven for success.

What is important is that stakeholders (people working for and with the entrepreneur) accept the entrepreneur for his or her good intentions, sense of fairness and willingness to listen.

[Email readres, continue here…] I have had numerous experiences during my business career where business people I dealt with took advantage of the moment selfishly because they could, not because they should. I recall an executive who kept a large deposit but canceled a contract, refusing to negotiate, because the next payment due was a few days late. Or another who sued over a gray area issue, refusing to listen or negotiate. (He lost the suit and paid both sides’ fees.)

And I have come to the conclusion that “good guys” (men and women) do finish first. There is no scientific proof, no metric to measure the full meaning of “good.” and no special acknowledgement from any “good-watching” organization. Even without these, I am sure of this.

Surely the ruthless more often win in the short run. But early successes, built upon the broken backs of adversaries, are rarely followed by long- term wins for the tyrant or for the tyrant’s company.

Be of good heart. You will enjoy your entrepreneurial or managerial ride much more, and your stakeholders will follow you through the flames as well as cheer your successes.

  • The only issue with being a good guy is that you have to be prepared to protect yourself from those who are ruthless and out for the quick profit. We must never forget that we can deny these people the opportunity to do business with us who choose the good. In order to do good, I take great care and time for failure analysis. Step back and determine if someone or someplace is worthy of your time, efforts, and money. Doing business is a partnership with mutuality for success.
    Good article Dave-thank you!!!!!!

    i wonder if this above coment is from kellogs foundation familly member.. and i appreciate it..
    please google “wall street pschycopaths ”
    i have done and learned a lot .. but still i am not sure if i can smell them .. But i lived a experience with
    one of these..
    its very sad that speed and greed and inteligence is collabrating for wery bad plans..like organized crime members and model is taking over all level of our systems.. what is scary is hurting the middle class es
    i dont care for the top.. let the ones to deal with it on the top.. but when it hurts startups that create the most jobs .. that is a world problem..
    if it happens in Turkey and USA ..

    thanks

    Nihal Nicky Muradoglu

  • Dave,

    Great post!

    Too often, we’re told that being ruthless is the only way to succeed. The truth is that you do the most business with people you like and trust.

    Thanks for a reminder that core values still matter.

    Steve

  • Malcolm Geffen

    Loved reading this Dave.It mirrors what I have always believed and practiced…and usually someone finds it necessary to tell me that I am out of step! I just do not believe that being in business requires behaving badly.
    Glad you put this out.
    Malcolm

  • Garrett Kellogg

    The only issue with being a good guy is that you have to be prepared to protect yourself from those who are ruthless and out for the quick profit. We must never forget that we can deny these people the opportunity to do business with us who choose the good. In order to do good, I take great care and time for failure analysis. Step back and determine if someone or someplace is worthy of your time, efforts, and money. Doing business is a partnership with mutuality for success.
    Good article Dave-thank you!!!!!!

  • Eric Greenspan

    🙂

  • Andre Durand

    Love hearing this. It took me a while to see the karma come full circle on folks who looked out for themselves first. But it does.

    It gave me the conviction to go even harder the other way and follow my heart.

  • Dan Hoefflin

    Hi Dave:

    This was a great thought at a perfect time of year. I fully agree with you. In the long run, goodness prevails. The unethical scrooges of the world pay a heavy price during their lifetimes, even as they sometimes seem to profit from their dastardly deeds as they cause misery on those around them. In the end, they are lonely people who no one wants to work with and their customers eventually despise and leave them.

    You are one of the Good Guys. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and all good things in the New Year.

    Dan

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