Why you should never sacrifice your morals & ethics at the workplace (or anywhere else)


Henry David Thoreau once wrote “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” Today, more than 200 years later, this should still be the guideline for not only your personal life – but moreover your professional one. If we take out the philosophical premise of one not having any morals from a personal perspective and for the purpose of this blog only focus on the professional aspect, it becomes quite apparent that it is absolutely vital to maintain your personal morals and ethics.

If you lose those, there’s quite a lot at stake – successful entrepreneurs never sacrifice their values. If it is out of a personal regard for them or if they are kept intact because of calculation shall not be the subject here. Also we will view as “values” the common definitions and the widely known set standards of what is “right” and “wrong”. To define them would be a different topic altogether.
So, what is the risk in sacrificing your values and ethics? What are the core problems?


When you are constantly making wrong (or even judicially speaking illegal) decisions, this will sooner than later guarantee you the loss of respect by your co-workers. Your fellow employees, or in case that you are a manager, your team members have very delicate sensors when it comes to noticing decisions and their impact – and they will feel the impact of a wrong decision, there is no doubt about it. A one-time incident may result in shock (but don’t confuse it with forgetting), but a continuous respective development can only have one effect, which is the complete and utter loss of every ounce of respect they have for you. In their eyes, all you will ever amount to again is dishonesty, favoritism and the like. Respect is what motivates your employees and co-workers – it is what brings them to excel and to want to produce the best results for you. You will notice that the lack of values produces demotivation and disloyalty. Maybe your company will even experience the loss of valued workers as a result.


Subsequently, if you have lost your respect amongst your peers, there is also the problem of this transcending into the company life and the company itself – if you’re a bad role model, why shouldn’t anyone else follow your example? The decadence of all ethics cannot be a good thing for your company – or its productivity. You set the standard – everyone else will automatically follow it.


Logically and as a pure consequence, the decadence will not stop from developing on the “inside” – it will also transcend to the outside and thereby harm the public image of your company. There is no way of hiding anything of debatable character inside your company, somehow these things – sooner or later – will always find a way of surfacing and damage your overall profitability.

Lisa Schwarz
T: +49/ (0)69 976 75104
W: antal.com
Antal International
Mainzer Landstrasse 65
60329 Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland