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How to Succeed in Business Without Compromising Your Integrity

I spent some twenty years in the corporate world, for much of it I was not particularly interested in spirituality. It was a world where profits reigned supreme, often with little respect for the rest of society.

It took a while for change to happen in Australia, but led by Ralph Nader in the USA, consumers have become more aware of their rights with respect to corporations. New government bodies looking at pollution, corporate fraud and other matters have appeared and some of our leading businessmen are spending time behind bars. Greater education of the general population is leading to more informed choices by consumers.

There have been many cases of businesses ignoring those who have an interest in what they do at their own peril. At university my business degree has placed much emphasis on stakeholder theory and issues management.

These concepts refer to understanding the needs of the wider community including governments and pressure groups and the likely effect on business operations under differing conditions. Even the big Australian, BHP, has set up an issues management department after it was caught polluting the Fly river in Papua New Guinea.

Values which show a genuine concern for society as a whole, rather than individual gain tend to be spiritual in nature. When we understand that we are all part of the same spirit, including the earth and the air we breathe we start to take on a different attitude to life.

There is a universal law of cause and effect in operation which means that whatever we put out we get back. It is wise for us to be considerate in our business dealings or sooner or later we will suffer the consequences.

Take the case of a murderer. The consequences of murdering someone is that one spends the rest of their life in gaol. If I murder another and end up in prison I shouldn't really be surprised and say, "It's not my fault." Clearly I created the situation by my actions.f you really wish to progress in the corporate world while feeling happy and good about yourself, then work in a corporation which is ethical. Join an organisation which looks at the good of the whole of society as well as its corporate profits. By working in an organisation which has similar values to those you hold personally, you will certainly rest easier at night.

With the current changes in awareness as more people read books such as this one and open up to their spiritual connection, those corporations which practise unethical behaviour will falter. In the next millennium you will increasingly see a more aware public change from unethical companies to those who align with their own values.

I have always operated with the philosophy that your staff are your greatest asset in business. I have worked with my staff to assist them in carrying out their activities.

Customer Service is another much talked about aspect of modern business. Basically your customers pay your wages, so being nice to them ensures that you are paid. Maybe it is all right to be genuinely nice to the boss. Perhaps you should try another job if you cannot see the benefits of your customers to yours and your family's lifestyles.

If you wish to move up the corporate ladder with a clear conscience the simple way is to start being the person you wish to be. Get educated and knowledgeable about the position you desire and then when the opportunity comes you are ready to take it. Dress the way you would if working in the new position and ask to fill in when that person is on leave.

In 1977 I returned from a three year overseas trip and was told that jobs were hard to get. This was the time of the famous statement by our then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, "Life wasn't meant to be easy." I didn't listen to any of this and obtained a job within two weeks.

For nearly a year I worked hard and attended any training courses available to me. Then I noticed that I was performing double the workload of my associates with no extra reward. I moved to another organisation within the same industry with another range of machinery to learn.

This firm was far more forward thinking, however there were some personality clashes. I got down to work to build my career while the others played politics. One by one those above me clashed with their superiors. As they left I put myself forward as a possible replacement. Because I had learnt every aspect of my own area I was able to fill these positions and use my creative mind to make useful changes.

Within two years I had risen to National Service Manager, set up a printed circuit board repair operation, and built a service contract business which earned several hundred thousand dollars per year. I had a highly motivated work force who were performing well.

My big break was when the company was taken over by the giant in the printing industry, Seligson & Clare. Because of my innovative track record I was offered a position of Operations Manager with 140 staff. This involved a move to Melbourne where I stayed for four years.

All of this would not have happened if I had not used my creative abilities and also learnt what was necessary to advance to higher levels of management. I don't believe I was lucky, I made my own luck and so can you.

Oprah Winfrey, the famous American talk show host commented that she would never have been given the role in The Color Purple if she hadn't spent years training to be an actor. Opportunity knocks for those who are ready to take it.

John Gaydon quickly rose to the top of his profession. After a successful corporate career, at the age of 36, he quit his job and started teaching others how to be happy. You can red his philosophy and many of his ideas in his book, "Life Mastery - how to achieve it" available at http://www.pems.com.au/lifemastery.html

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