Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great Betrayal of Friends

         While surfing the net leisurely, I searched the topic “great betrayals,” and I found a very interesting article on that title in New York Times published on Oct 5, 2013, written by a psychiatrist ANNA FELS.
     That article contained many points that would perfectly apply to the betrayal of three of my friends while working in The Hindu during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  They had made a secret understanding with the branch manager of The Hindu to get newspaper agency for their friends and relatives and duped me to assume the responsibility of the work as a dispatch contractor there on a false promise of offering me a news agency besides putting many hurdles in my work as dispatch contractor there.
     I quote from the article:  “But for the people who have been lied to, something more pervasive and disturbing occurs. They castigate themselves about why they didn’t suspect what was going on. The emotions they feel, while seemingly more benign than those of the perpetrator, may in the long run be more corrosive: humiliation, embarrassment, a sense of having been naïve or blind, alienation from those who knew the truth all along and, worst of all, bitterness.
     Insidiously, the new information disrupts their sense of their own past, undermining the veracity of their personal history. Like a computer file corrupted by a virus, their life narrative has been invaded. Memories are now suspect: what was really going on that day? Why did the spouse suddenly buy a second phone “for work” several years ago? Did a friend know the truth even as they vacationed together? Compulsively going over past events in light of their recently acquired (and unwelcome) knowledge, such patients struggle to integrate the new version of reality. For many people, this discrediting of their experience is hard to accept. It’s as if they are constantly reviewing their past lives on a dual screen: the life they experienced on one side and the new “true” version on the other. But putting a story together about this kind of disjunctive past can be arduous

     Understandably, some feel cynical if not downright paranoid. How can they know what is real going forward? How can they integrate these new “facts” about family, origin, religion, race or fidelity? Do they have to be suspicious if they form a new relationship? As my friend said in despair, “I’m just not a snoop; it’s not in my genes.”

     And the social response to people who have suffered such life-transforming disclosures, well meaning as it is intended to be, is often less than supportive. Our culture may embrace the redeemed sinner, but the person victimized — not so much. Lack of control over their destiny makes people queasy. Friends often unconsciously blame the victim, asking whether the betrayed person really “knew at some level” what was going on and had just been “in denial” about it. But the betrayed are usually as savvy as the rest of us.

     Of course, I did not fall to the level of needing some form of counseling by a psychiatrist to get on with life. Being an objectivist helped me to pursue a different career and get on with life without any scar left of that betrayal. I am grateful to Ayn Rand to have helped me to overcome this crisis in my life as I leaned on "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" for moral support many times during these periods in my life.

     Isak Dinesen has been quoted as saying “all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.”  I am trying to bring this quote of Isak Dinesen to reality in my case as well by some means.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Some Interesting Articles from Forbes on Business Ethics

10 Things Only Lousy Managers Say:


 God bless the bad managers we’ve struggled under, the toads and zombies who’ve taught us so many valuable leadership lessons  (all lessons of the How Not to Lead variety). We still remember those managers years later, with their tempers, idiosyncracies and neuroses.

I don’t pay you to think.

It’s work – it’s not supposed to be fun.

You are not my only employee.

I’ll take it under advisement.

I don’t care what your priorities are – this is your new priority.

I don’t make the rules. I just enforce them.

If you don’t want the job I’ll find someone who does.

This is the way we’ve always done it.

And God knows if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

In this economy, you’re lucky to have a job.


Seven Ways To Deal With A Bad Manager:


 In my article, Why Your Employees Are Leaving, one of the reasons listed was bad managers. This struck a chord with friends and a lot of readers who wrote of their experiences with awful managers.


Business Ethics In Asia: Lost In Translation?


         Should companies care about ethical behavior?  Does it really make any difference to their bottom line?  Simply put, yes. Yes, consumers and stockholders can and do care. And, yes, it does filter through to the bottom line. That was the consensus from a panel consisting of Barry Stowe, CEO of Prudential Corporation Asia, Marjorie Yang, chairman of the Esquel Group, and William E. (Chip) Connor, chairman and CEO of the Connor Group, at the inaugural Asia Ethics Summit held in Hong Kong late last year.


New Study Shows Transparency Isn't Just Good Ethics - It's Good Business


         A new study released today shows the practical, not just ethical, value to an organization of management transparency.  Such transparency, implying consistently candid and open management communication, is often considered nice to have but perhaps, from some management perspectives, a bit Pollyanna-ish.  This study shows the positive role transparency can play in maintaining an engaged, motivated work force.


Observing The Small Business Code Of Ethics:


         When small business owners find themselves in the gray area with a customer or other business relationship, there is no sanctioning entity we can call on for guidance. We’re on our own; because The Universal Code of Small Business Professional Conduct and Ethics doesn’t exist.

        Principles which come in handy when you find yourself in the gray area, perched on the horns of an ethical dilemma. One is from an ancient philosopher, one from a 20th century Nobel Laureate, and one from a 21st century ethics thought leader.

         On Transparency: “The way to live with honor is to be in reality what you appear to be.” Socrates, 5th century B.C.

         On Integrity: “Integrity has no need of rules,” Albert Camus, from “The Myth of Sisyphus” (1942).

         On Ethics: “Ethics is devotion to the unenforceable,” Len Marrella, author of “In Search of Ethics” (2005).