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MODERN HEROES IN BUSINESS

Don’t let your values be compromised in trying times

Column by JAY PERRY

In society, we have daily examples of heroism in our first responders, police, armed forces, front-line health workers and individuals in these groups do fantastic things for us with their heroic attitude. I would also like to recognize some business leaders for heroics. No, it isn’t the same as running into a burning building to save lives, but the risk in business, albeit very different, can still be quite overwhelming, especially when you “go against the grain.”

It’s odd that doing the right thing now counts as heroism in business. With plenty of evidence around us of corruption and shadiness in business practice, inequitable treatment of varying stakeholders of a business, and many more things we see in the news, it is admirable to buck that slippery slope of a trend and do the right thing.

When someone sacrifices personal fortune to take care of staff by seeing they are secured by a decent paycheck, I’d call that heroic. When someone has a vision of executing duties at the highest levels of professionalism and insists their people are sponsored for the training and the development work necessary to perform at such heights, I’d call that heroic.

When someone fights the temptation to short-cut safety, quality, or service levels to produce results customers can take delight in, I’d call that heroic.

We fight the idea that a “have and have-not” society is okay. We know it is not, as everyone deserves to be treated properly and receive an equal opportunity. Yet, how do we reward people that differentiate themselves by doing the day-to-day heroics it takes to run that small business or sales division or production facility in a no-compromise fashion?

I think that history teaches us the answer in the fact that you have heard this saying more than once; “you only get what you pay for.” I believe that if more of us congregate, communicate, and help each other stay in that commitment to excellence, there will be clear winners just as there always has been.

Business today is tough, and I am not naive to think the challenges we face—some of which we have previously discussed as the “new normal” in a post-pandemic world—offer easy solutions. It takes faith that there will be proper rewards for those who stay the course and do the right thing. That is difficult in a world where we see some who are greedy receive more than their fair share, especially when considering abuses of power or influence to get ahead.

I believe that slowly those that are on the bleeding edge of proper business practice are winning more raving fans, dedicated employees and now, (the start of) appropriate compensation. I also see that at a minimum, they have been raising the bar for everyone they compete against. I think that attitude of no-compromise is the way you stay the one who’s driving.

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One Response

  1. Great article Jay! It reminds me of a book I read called Who are you when nobody’s looking? I always used to tell my staff are you going to do the right thing or the convenient thing? And they already knew the answer. Sometimes it feels like nobody is noticing, but over the long-haul I have found your rewards are compounded, Chelsea and the crew at PARR are carrying on that tradition, and they are also reaping the rewards of a stellar reputation.

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